A care home owner in East London has been inviting residents and ex-prisoners over to his house for Christmas dinner for the last 10 years.
Adrian Spence, who runs Connifinn Care in East London, has gone against professional recommendations for people who work in mental health to conceal their personal lives in spread Christmas cheer and eradicate the ‘us’ and ‘them’.
All residents invited have been in the criminal justice system and Mr Spence encourages staff to share their personal lives with residents – even his children have never spent a Christmas away from the care home.
Mr Spence said: “Everyone gets a present. One of my kids will play the piano and there’s lots of home cooked food. It replaces what the residents haven’t had and they trust us a lot more. It’s not ‘us’ and ‘them’.
“My children have never had a Christmas without the residents. Two of my children have worked at the service and before everyone sets off to my house for Christmas Day, the staff check everything, make sure that medicines are packed.
“We risk assess and if there are any issues, we’ll provide one to one support to get them to my house. We have a lot of staff available and the service users know my family, and everyone gets a present.”