Care home residents experience a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to reduce social isolation

The Chinese ritual of making tea is a calming and tranquil experience and is now being carried out across care homes in Bristol.

The ‘Bristol Meets the World’ project was launched last week, with the first session of a Chinese tea ceremony taking place at Brunelcare Colliers Gardens, Fishponds, Bristol.

11-year-old tea was passed around, with comments made about it “smelling like fish” and “it looks like a Christmas cake.” Time was spent engaging with the residents, giving them tasters and showing them the tea making tools.

Rosa Hui, CEO of the Bristol and Chinese Women’s Group, opened the speech by saying: “I’m really glad I’m with Brunelcare. We are all looking so healthy!”

The project is run by the Bristol and Avon Chinese Women’s group and is supported by the Bristol Ageing Better ‘Building Blocks for Wellbeing’ programme.

The group talked people through the traditions of preparing tea together with tastings and aromas to evoke the senses, which kicks off a two-year programme intended to reduce social isolation and loneliness, improve self-esteem and health. The programme will also raise public awareness of diversity in Bristol.

During the project each of the partners – Brunelcare, 91 ways, Carers Support Centre and Hanover – will be running food and nutrition workshops for their clients.

Julie Walker, centre manager for Brunelcare Colliers Gardens, said: “This is our first session today. I have Chinese tenants that live within Collier Gardens and what we really wanted to highlight was the Chinese cultures. We have kicked it off with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony which is apt for our environment.”

The project is all about giving tenants a purpose and making them feel useful to the community and daily running of the home.

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