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Essington residents delighted by visiting alpacas

Residents of a retirement living community in Essington had some very special guests on Friday when some neighbouring alpacas dropped-in to see them.

The friendly alpacas took a tour of Cherry Tree Court, while residents and staff got acquainted with their new furry friends.

Alpacas Alfie and Roo live in nearby Albrighton. Famed for their soft fur and gentle nature, the inquisitive visitors charmed residents as they took a look around the communal lounge and garden.

Ruth Maburiro, housing and wellbeing manager at Cherry Tree Court, said: “It was a fabulous afternoon. I don’t think any of us had come face to face with an alpaca before and we were all excited to meet them. The residents were surprised by how friendly they were!”

Cherry Tree Court is one of 34 retirement living communities in Staffordshire and Shropshire managed by Care Plus, part of Housing Plus Group. Care and support director Les Clarke said that Alfie and Roo had an important role to play in helping residents keep active and take part in social activities.

“One of the biggest issues facing older people is loneliness and a lot of what we do is about providing access to a range of activities, so that there is something to interest everyone. This was a lot of fun and I was really pleased to see so many people taking the opportunity to meet the alpacas.”

Care Plus is also celebrating the successful outcome of an assessment by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Inspectors looked at the care and support provided to people living independently in their own homes, including apartments at Cherry Tree Court. Awarding a ‘Good’ rating in all five categories, the regulator highlighted the way that care is provided to people who need it, saying “Without exception, people and their relatives told us that they were treated with care and kindness.”