The pandemic fails to halt the Friends of Prince Michael of Kent Court

W Bro Andrew Farleigh SLGR – Trustee and Press Officer, Reports

In spite of the pandemic, the Association of Friends of Prince Michael of Kent Court has continued to support and enhance the lives of residents over the past couple of years with a whole host of activities and developments. 

This award-winning RMBI Care Home in Watford, Hertfordshire, continues to be an outstanding beacon of excellence. Without any recorded fatalities from COVID, the Management and Staff have been exemplary in their work, supported and assisted by the Friends.

The Friends have previously raised over £100,000 to build the ’Orangery’ at the home, an extension to accommodate an expansion of dementia facilities. Not only was the Orangery project completed on time, but the Friends were able to provide a safe outside exercise area and a couple of YETI monitors. These are enormous TV screens with a host of sensory features to benefit residents, rather like iPads but on a much bigger scale.

However, the pandemic did not stop the Friends from assisting with further enhancements. The main garden was upgraded and improved to include a huge patio area. Many shrubs were also replanted. The Friends provided an all-weather outside ‘Pod’, in which families and residents could get together. A brand-new purpose-built fitness centre was constructed on the site of the old ‘duck compound’. It was equipped with two fitness cycles and a TV monitor to simulate actual journeys. 

The white ducks were relocated to a brand-new custom-built home aptly named ‘Duckingham Palace’. A real palace that boasts its own swimming pool, paved pool surrounds and a brand-new duck house to keep its occupants safe from marauding foxes!

A new shop has been constructed inside the home as well to allow residents to acquire small personal requisites.

A brand new large-screen TV has been installed in the main lounge area and a new and enhanced sound system for music and entertainment. All in all, the Friends have in recent times raised and spent nearly £250,000 on various enhancements for the benefit of the residents.

Whilst the Friends’ activities were curtailed throughout the pandemic due to isolation and lockdown, we have now been able to resume some of them. For instance, we have been able to provide a great afternoon of entertainment for residents with a guitarist and a jazz band.

Most recently, the Friends put on a fantastic fireworks display – sponsored by one of their supporting Lodges. Of course, every Wednesday is a themed ‘Supper Club’ at which the Friends assist.

The Prince Michael of Kent Court Care Home is one of the best care homes in the region, and with the help and assistance of the Association of Friends, it has maintained and enhanced its offering to residents throughout a most difficult period.

As mentioned above, many of the Friends’ activities are sponsored by Lodges and Chapters from several Provinces. This sponsorship enables the Friends to enhance and expand their activities, helping to make the twilight years of residents more enjoyable, interesting and fulfilling. 

You and your Lodge or Chapter can help their work by becoming a Member of the Friends. Email for details.

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 48 April 2022 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 48 here.