TWO small ponies proved a big hit with delighted care home residents when they were the special guests during a fundraising day.
Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon annually holds a Cupcake Day in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, enjoyed by residents, their relatives and staff.
The event helps raise hundreds of pounds for the cause, thanks to the sale of dozens of cakes provided by the care home community.
This year residents at the award-winning dementia centre run by Pendine Park were afforded a surprise treat, in the shape of a visit from two Shetland ponies.
The residents enjoyed close encounters with Baileys and Bella outside the home, stroking the diminutive duo and posing for photos with them.
Among those vividly enjoying meeting the ponies was 95-year-old Marian Williams.
Originally from Deganwy, Marian has been a resident at Bryn Seiont Newydd since last October following the onset of dementia.
Her daughter Nia, who accompanied Marian during the fundraising event, said: “It was lovely to see my mum meeting the ponies.
“I know that doing this will make my mum happy and content when she goes back inside the home afterwards.
“Being able to see the ponies is such an excellent idea. They are so placid and so well behaved.
“Doing something like this gets the residents stimulated and motivated. It is very therapeutic.
“I have been impressed by the team here throughout the time my mum has been at Bryn Seiont Newydd.
“I fully support the fundraising taking place for the Alzheimer’s Society.”
Also enjoying the presence of the ponies was John Brinley Jones, from Llanbedrog.
John and his sister, Ceri Owen, were visiting their 91-year-old mother, Rhian, who has memory loss issues.
“My mum is used to being around animals so it’s nice for her to get the chance to see the ponies,” said John.
“My late father, Tom, was also a resident here. I have always been impressed by the amount of activities that take place at Bryn Seiont Newydd, such as singing and meeting animals.
“It is important to do things that can help bring back memories for the residents.
“I am pleased to see that the home is supporting the Alzheimer’s Society with this event.”
Bella and Baileys, aged about 20 and 18 respectively, were brought along by owner Nikki Lewis and her friend, Maureen Bird.
Nikki, of Groeslon, said: “We previously brought ponies here a couple of years ago and were very happy to bring them here again.
“It’s therapy for the people. In my experience it is helpful for the residents to get to see the ponies.
“It is nice to see how much they seem to have enjoyed meeting Baileys and Bella.”
Since opening in 2015, Bryn Seiont Newydd has created more than 200 jobs.
Its positive work was quickly recognised by it being named as the best new care home in the UK a year later.
Part of the leading North Wales care organisation Pendine Park, Bryn Seiont Newydd has become established as a centre of excellence for dementia.
The home has repeatedly shown support for the Alzheimer’s Society, with the Cupcake Day becoming a staple of the calendar.
Staff, residents and their relatives have demonstrated their Bake-Off credentials by donating an attractive array of cakes of all shapes and sizes.
From small cupcakes to large coffee cakes, members of the Bryn Seiont Newydd community had the mouthwatering choice of about 150 creations to buy and tuck into in support of the cause.
Carys Phylip-Jones, enrichment co-ordinator at Bryn Seiont Newydd, helped organise the event.
She was delighted by the show of support, with hundreds of pounds again being raised.
“The event has been about supporting the Alzheimer’s Society and allowing the residents to enjoy the day,” said Carys.
“We believe this is an important cause which we want to help raise funds for.
“I am very grateful to all the staff, residents and their relatives who provided cakes.
“I was very pleasantly surprised to see just how many cakes we had to sell.”
As well as the visit of Baileys and Bella, other highlights included a fundraising raffle.
“It was very nice for the residents that they were able to meet the ponies,” added Carys.
“We would like to thank everyone who helped support the event in any way, such as through providing raffle prizes or giving donations.”