Hallmark Introduces the Hopes and Dreams Concierge

16th January, 2024

The unique role is making residents’ hopes, dreams and ambitions a reality.

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The unique role is making residents’ hopes, dreams and ambitions a reality.

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Dolly Parton recently performed a duet with resident Pat and King Charles honoured another resident, Margaret, with a royal visit accompanied by his corgi…but is all as it seems?

  • More than a third (37%) of those over 66 polled said they were at least 60 years old before they started a new interest, hobby, or activity in life
  • Dream careers of the over 66 that might surprise you, as 10% rank the arts, including singing, as their vocational ambition – showing Britain’s ageing community as having a jaunty finger on the pulse.
  • Retirement is a dog’s life, truly, with the active outdoor pursuits of dog walking ranked within the top five hobbies of the over 66.
  • An impressive 10% of the nation’s over 66 regularly dedicate their time to volunteering and giving back to their community                              

We are delighted to share details of a bighearted role that focuses on creating experiences for older people and helps residents achieve their long harboured hopes, dreams and ambitions.

The project has already seen a flurry of famous faces arrive at our group’s homes including Dolly Parton, King Charles and a very well-known four legged friend that many will recognise from a recent Netflix series…

The ‘Hopes & Dreams Concierge’ works with residents across all 22 of Hallmark Luxury Care Homes  to organise special activities and opportunities that hark back to goals, passions and desires that residents have had since they were young. It’s our belief is that at every stage of life one can still experience new moments that can ignite a fire within or make them giddy with excitement.

Pat Shepherd, 77, a resident at the Hallmark’s Admiral Court home, is one such resident that has worked with the Hopes & Dreams Concierge. She has had an amateur singing career ever since she joined the school choir at primary school. There was a huge emphasis on the performing arts at her school and they frequently took first prize at school choir competitions.

Working with the Hallmark team, Pat was offered the opportunity to spend the morning with one of the most famous female singer/songwriters of our time – none other than ‘Dolly Parton’. Dolly’s pianist tinkled the ivories and they gave a superb performance of ‘Coat of Many Colours’, a song very close to Pat’s heart as her mother would sing it to her.

“I have sang my whole life, I enjoy it so much and it brings me great pleasure. I was always quite shy growing up and so I enjoyed being part of a choir. I was never quite confident enough to sing solo but recently, here at Hallmark I actually performed a solo rendition of Thank You for the Music at our Christmas Market.

“Singing with Dolly Parton was enormous fun, I know many of her songs but Coat of Many Colours will always be very special to me and so to have her perform it here is a memory I will treasure for a long time.”

Working with some of the very best in class, the Hopes & Dreams concierge team plan activities that enable residents to try out new skills; such as ice-skating, play writing or life-drawing, or to achieve a lifelong goal, like singing in front of a large crowd or, for the adrenaline junkies, complete a sky-dive.

For the more adventurous retirees the world remains their oyster, with one resident recently supported to take the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand.

Margaret Steddon, 83 a resident at the Hallmark’s Hutton View home, also worked with the Hopes & Dreams Concierge. She had a lifelong dream of working with animals, specifically dogs, having had many dogs throughout her life including Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Dachshunds and Cocker Spaniels.

Our team offered Margaret the opportunity to spend the morning with another well known animal lover, none other than ‘King Charles’, who joined Margaret with one of his corgis, spending time teaching her tricks and getting to live her once-held goal of working with animals.

Additionally, Margaret will now spend some time at the Dogs Trust in Basildon to make her lifelong dream career a reality.

Margaret said: “I was delighted when the Hopes & Dreams Concierge  made my wish of working with animals a reality – and alongside none other than ‘The King’.

“Lily the Corgi was an excellent pupil and mastered the see-saw in no time. Now Hallmark has made visiting our local dog home a reality and I honestly couldn’t feel more fulfilled.

“Dogs have always been a huge part of our life, ever since my husband and I adopted our very first dog, a beautiful black poodle called Mandy. After that our house always knew the joy of dogs, we had Whisky the Shetland Sheepdog who often used to round the children up in the garden, a beautiful labrador called Kelly, two golden retrievers, Sam and Gemma, a dachshund called Katie and of course Millie, my beloved cocker spaniel. Dogs have honestly brought such joy to my life.”

Pets are always welcome at our homes, a rarity throughout the care sector, enabling residents to keep their family together and continue living with their furry companions.

This exciting project is designed to expand on our relationship centred approach to care, which focuses on getting to the individual, their likes, dislikes, and hobbies so they can deliver tailored care and support residents and their families to enjoy special moments together.

An independent study revealed that there is clearly an appetite for new experiences from the older generations, with more than a third (37%) of over 66’s saying they were at least 60 years plus before they started a new interest, hobby, or activity in life.

Hopes and Dreams Concierge at Hallmark’s Admiral Court, Sarah Savidge said:

“Age is just a number to us at Hallmark, we make it our mission to create special moments for residents, both big and small every day.

“As you get older you might not be able to jump for joy or dance the night away but you can still experience things that ignite a passion within or makes you giddy with excitement. It is never too late to try new things and achieve your dreams, hopes and ambitions. Our role enables residents to do exactly that.

“We truly believe that you’re never too old to have the experience of a lifetime. Our residents are an amazing group of people that want to push the boundaries, challenge themselves and give new things a go, and it gives us all so much joy to make this happen – and as part of our job!

Hope Spencer, Hopes & Dreams Concierge at Hallmark’s Hutton View comments:

“Whether it’s a career path that they were told isn’t suitable, or even available, when they were younger through to truly incredible opportunities like to go to Wimbledon or visit family abroad, we want to show that just because someone may have moved into residential care, it doesn’t stop them from experiencing those special first moments, challenging themselves or expanding their horizons.

“We’ve already made some amazing moments happen for residents, and everyone at Hallmark is excitedly watching to see what other hopes and dreams we can help come true across our homes.”

The study also revealed the top ten list of surprising hobbies, interests and activities* Briton’s pensioners would love to have a go at in 2024, which includes learning a new language, writing books and even metal detecting.