Back in February 2020 White House Care Home became an overnight sensation thanks to their very special feature on ITV’s This Morning, which saw Dancing on Ice’s Matt Evers visit care home staff and residents as they took to the ice at Billingham Forum Ice Arena. Over 2 years later, we caught up with White House Care Home staff and residents as they returned to the ice in a bid to get back to normality following the COVID-19 pandemic.
White House Care Home Deputy Manager Ben Brown explained “This is the first time we’ve been to Billingham Forum Ice Arena since the pandemic began and it’s fantastic to be on the ice once more! Our residents have loved their time within the arena, for some of them it’s their first time on the ice but for others it was great to be back.”
While talking with the White House Care Home team we learned that there are many lasting benefits for care home residents when it comes to getting out on the ice, which vary from person to person. Some of their residents experiencing a calming, theraputic sensation from gliding around the arena. Others a nostalgic trip down memory lane which unlocks precious memories and feelings and for the thrill seekers among them, the sense of speed on the ice makes them feel alive! Activities Coordinator Julie told us “No matter what sensation our residents are looking to get from wheelchair ice skating, we have always noted that the effects are lasting for days to come afterwards.”
White House Care Home resident Bill was one of the original Care Home on Ice skaters featured in the 2020 This Morning segment and it was fantastic to see him return. “Bill really comes alive on the ice, it makes him cheer and sing!” Ben told us. We certainly loved Bill’s rendition of Catch A Falling Star, which he hummed as he was wheeling around the ice arena.
Whilst remembering the This Morning feature, Ben explained “The response the care home got from the feature was quite something! It became so much bigger than we ever expected and it was just an incredibly proud moment for us all. We’ve enjoyed watching the segment throughout the pandemic and it’s acted as a constant reminder of our goal to get back on the ice as soon as we possibly could. It’s amazing that we’ve got through such a hard time and we are now finally back to doing all of the things we’ve missed so dearly.”
From our time with White House Care Home staff and residents it is evident to see that they are completely over the moon to be back out in the community and doing all of the things that keep them happy and healthy as their care family. For more information on public ice skating sessions that are accessible for all ages and abilities, visit the Forum Ice Arena website.