Staff and residents at Anchor’s Maple Dene care home in Birmingham have set sail on a virtual cruise to Italy.

Residents and staff are visiting six different countries between April and October 2015, starting with Italy, all from the comfort of their lounge.

Manager Leisha Cooper said the residents and staff alike are really looking forward to immersing themselves in each new destination’s culture.

She said: “We want to create the most real experience possible – learning the language, listening to the native music, cooking the local cuisine, swapping stories about our holidays… There’s a whole world of activities!

“Our chef manager has recently been trained on ‘taster sessions’ and the importance of consulting residents on new foods; this is a great chance for them to put this into practice and show off their culinary skills.

“We are making a scrapbook together to document our virtual travels, which will be a wonderful memento for the residents to look back at all the fun we had.

“The virtual cruise is part of our on-going programme of exciting activities here at Maple Dene. We have great relationships with other Anchor schemes in the area and our residents have been swapping postcards with those living at Holm Park.”

Team leader Angela Conaty, pictured with carers Mary Carroll and Bonny Jackson, said: ''The cruise has been fantastic so far in getting everyone involved. Everyone here has been looking forward to the day in Italy and so far we’ve enjoyed Italian food, music and entertainment. With the lounge all decorated there is a real special occasion feel about it.”

Bonny added: “Residents have been chatting about their past holidays and experiences in Italy which has been really enlightening.”

Next stop for Maple Dene residents is India…watch this space to see what they get up to.

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