Sonnet Care Homes (Essex) Limited, Braintree, Essex

Sonnet’s got talent to entertain care home residents

By 10th July, 2020 News Comments Off

Staff at two Braintree care homes have unveiled an array of musical talent to entertain residents during the coronavirus lockdown.

From an Elvis tribute to belting out summer sounds, team members from The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court in Bocking have kept residents in high spirits with their in-house entertainment.

With safety paramount during the pandemic, all external entertainment and visitors had to be cancelled. The award-winning Sonnet Care Homes’ activities team responded quickly, taking advantage of the sunshine to arrange garden parties in the homes’ spacious grounds.

Step forward ‘The singing director’ – Finance Director Jo Moore has been singing in bands ranging from rock and roll to function bands since she left school and was soon persuaded to provide live music.

During the recent heatwave, the team arranged a Hawaiian cocktail and mocktail party, with staff dressing up in grass skirts and floral print shirts and Jo entertaining residents with numbers including Sunny Afternoon, Summer Holiday and Surfin’ USA.

Entertainment is provided to residents of our Braintree Care homesJo explained:

I’ve really loved it, it’s been such a privilege and a nice change from looking after the finances!

“It’s been a difficult time and our residents have really missed going out and seeing family as well as our usual entertainments programme. It is lovely to see everyone singing along and tapping their feet, it has really brightened their spirits.”

Jo loves singing Elvis numbers and was in for a surprise when activities team member Russell England made an entrance in full Elvis costume to belt out three favourites.

The talented team also features care worker Clair Tomalin, who demonstrated her skills playing wartime classics on the flugelhorn at the residents’ VE Day party.

Sonnet Care Homes CEO Julia Clinton said:

Our whole team has been focused on keeping residents safe during the lockdown and I’m proud that they’ve gone way beyond the call of duty to bring fun and happiness to our community.”

Last year the care homes’ activities team won a national Activity Organisers of the Year award at the Great British Care Awards.

Catch up on the team’s in-house entertainment on facebook: at


Photos: 1. CEO Julia Clinton (first left) with Sonnet team members Kirsty Anderson, Michaela Clifford, Fran Prentice and Janet Preece join in the Hawaiian Party fun

2. Jo Whitehouse performs with Elvis tribute act Russell England

Six of the best: Dedicated care home team shortlisted for six awards

By 8th November, 2019 News Comments Off

Dedicated staff from our Care Home in Braintree were shortlisted for no less than six different awards.

Terri Pike from St Mary’s Court was a finalist for the Care Home Manager Award at the Great British Care Awards, Eastern Region, and Matron Joan Sirett was shortlisted for the Frontline Leader award.

Jo Whitehouse, who won the Care Home Activity Organiser award last year, was again a finalist in the Activities category. Trainer Mandi Randall-Cramp was shortlisted for the Workforce Development Award and the Maintenance Team was a finalist in the Ancillary Workers category.

In Essex County Council’s quality awards, the Prospers, St Mary’s Court is shortlisted for the Community, Partnership and Collaboration Award, which recognises its partnership work with health providers and community organisations to achieve the best outcomes for residents.

Julia Clinton, CEO of Sonnet Care Homes which also includes the neighbouring New Deanery Care Home, said: “These nominations recognise the dedication of our entire team to providing first-class care and supporting all our residents to live full and interesting lives.”

The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the care sector and pay tribute to individuals who are outstanding within their field of work.

Regional winners of the Great British Care Awards were announced at a Gala dinner in Peterborough in October, with the Prospers’ winners being announced at Chelmsford Racecourse on 26 November.

The latest award nominations came hot on the heels of St Mary’s Court achieving the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) for the quality of care it provides to residents in the last years of their lives.

St Mary’s Court is the first care home in Braintree to receive the accolade, which recognises the organisation and quality of end of life care, leadership quality and the dignity and respect afforded to residents.

To find out more about accommodation, respite care, and day care at St Mary’s Court Care Home, please call 01376 328600, or visit

Gold award for Braintree nursing care home

By 3rd October, 2019 News Comments Off

St Mary’s Court Care Home has become the first in Braintree to be commended by the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) for the quality of care it provides to residents in the last years of their lives. Read More

New Research on Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

By 21st August, 2019 News Comments Off

According to Alcohol and Alcoholism, an estimated 44 million people in the world live with dementia. With this many people suffering, it’s important to know the possible causes and risk factors and to share them with family and friends.

Read More

Award for Sonnet’s Activities Manager for brightening residents’ lives

By 7th January, 2019 News Comments Off

Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse has won a prestigious award for her work providing a creative and varied programme of activities to brighten the lives of care home residents in Braintree. Read More

Jobs at The New Deanery, Braintree

By 21st May, 2018 Job Vacancies Comments Off

View all our current vacancies at The New Deanery on

Working at The New Deanery

Jobs at St Mary’s Court, Braintree

By 21st May, 2018 Job Vacancies Comments Off

View all our current vacancies at St Mary’s court on

Care homes scoop three more prestigious awards

By 15th November, 2017 News Comments Off

The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes have scooped three more awards, being judged Care Employer of the Year for the second year running.

The homes in Braintree won the accolades at The Great British Care Awards, East of England, and now go forward to the national finals in Birmingham next year.

Joan Sirett won the Dignity in Care Award, and Patricia Natel Barroso of St Mary’s Court received the Good Nurse Award. Read More

Our latest residents and relatives survey results are out

By 6th September, 2017 News Comments Off

The results of the residents and relatives survey


Survey results

Survey results

Sonnet Care Homes raises much needed funds for Essex Dementia care

By 5th June, 2017 News Comments Off

More than £180 has been raised by residents of the award-winning The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes in Braintree, and their families, at a fun quiz night.  The event, which was attended by over 40 people, was organised by the homes’ resident Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse and her team, and held during national Dementia Awareness Week. Read More