A Chester-le-Street care home bakery club got a new member when a North East MP joined residents to make tasty savoury treats for tea.
North Durham MP Kevan Jones took part in the second bakery session at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, Pelton – when cheese scones and Italian puff pastry pinwheels were on the menu.
Mr Jones chose to visit the home after reading about the club and the home’s master baker and resident Ralph Baines in the Northern Echo.
Ralph, 85, provided a masterclass in bread baking at the inaugural session, after spending decades perfecting his craft since his first bakery job in 1949.
For the second session, Ralph and 13 other residents were joined by Mr Jones, who helped weigh the flour and measure the butter.
He also helped create the pinwheels, which involved folding mozzarella, garlic, tomato puree, harissa paste and spinach into puff pastry.
Mr Jones said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the bakery club session at Pelton Grange Care Home. The Italian pinwheels looked very tasty and I’m sure the residents enjoyed eating the fruits of their labour.
“Activities are so important in a care home, especially those that give residents a sense of achievement.
“I must praise the home and particularly activities coordinator Jo Macphail, who brought great energy and enthusiasm to the bakery club.”
Resident Dennis Fullerton said: “It was very nice of Kevan to come and join us.”
Fellow resident Brenda Clifford added: “We had a good laugh with Kevan. He’s such a nice man.”
Jo Macphail, activities coordinator at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “Everyone at Pelton Grange would like to say a massive thank you to Kevan Jones MP for joining the bakery session. He was so helpful with the residents and everyone thoroughly enjoyed his company.
“It was wonderful to see how enthused and engaged the residents were with the bakery session as well.
“Being able to bring activities such as baking, which many of our residents did when they lived at home or even as careers, such as with Ralph, has such a big impact.
“Not only does it put a smile on everyone’s faces, but they are learning new skills and creating a tasty meal. It is an amazing part of my job, which I love.”