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Cramlington House 01670 591 930
West Farm Care Centre 0191 218 9626
Holywell House Care Centre 0191 270 4549


The Day Residents Made BBC News!


Staff and residents recently enjoyed a particularly special visit from no other than journalists and film crew from BBC News!

They came to Cramlington House to film Smurf the blind Shetland pony paying a visit to our residents. Smurf is a regular at both Cramlington House and West Farm; interacting with residents and bringing a smile to their faces.

We feel absolutely honoured that Lisa Walker, Smurf’s owner, chose to film Smurf at Cramlington House, and our residents when she could have picked up the phone to any care home, school or nursery in the North East but she chose us.

Talking about the visit, our general manager Loraine Brunton said: “We absolutely love Smurf visiting us because he has a massive positive effect on residents. Residents enjoy stroking, petting and chatting to him and this really encourages greater interaction and happy and relaxed moods because of the pure joy Smurf provides!

“It was great to have the BBC film crew here too who got to see how wonderful our home is and the activities we specifically plan and prepare so that our residents receive the very best care. The most amazing part of all is that, during the film, one resident called Margaret said Smurf is ‘the giver of love’ and Lisa is going to now use those exact words to describe him to everyone who might benefit from meeting him which is just so lovely.”

Smurf is owned by Lisa Walker, who runs Mini Pony Hire. Smurf was found running on the A1 motorway and was wild, untrained but feisty and loving. Given his early years, he really is such a strong and inspiring pony and the effects he has on our residents is truly wonderful.

Loraine added: “Personalised, high quality care is our priority and animal therapy plays a key role in this. Research shows the excellent benefits it provides to residents in care, but we can also see the impact animals have on our residents ourselves. Animals, such as Smurf, bring them comfort, contentment and cheer and it’s been extra special this time around with the BBC capturing his effect on camera; as you’ll see from the video!”



What people are saying

  • "I am very pleased with how my mother has settled in and generally how supportive and caring the staff are. This has given us peace of mind knowing that she is safe & well looked after. Thank you."

  • "Our mum has been a resident at Cramlington House for over a year and we have nothing but praise for the friendly, approachable staff and management. We always feel like part of an extended family and when we visit nothing is too much bother. We are completely happy with the standard of care, support and understanding we all receive as a family."

  • "From the first day, I knew it was the place for my mum. Clean, friendly staff, lovely environment! My mum would not get the opportunity to do the activities she is experiencing if she was not in Cramlington House. It is home from home and we can visit anytime. I can't say enough of how great Cramlington House is. "

  • "This is an absolutely superb care facility. The staff say that this is the home of the residents, in which they work - and they evidence that philosophy every day. In the last months of our mother's long life, we took comfort form the fact that she was safe and secure, being well-fed and looked after. The entire care team are brilliant. "

  • "All the staff at West Farm have provided such wonderful care, compassion and support to my auntie. We both feel incredibly lucky to have found West Farm, it’s been the perfect home for my auntie. I can honestly say, hand on heart, every aspect of the care provided by each member of staff at West Farm has been outstanding."