Nativity is given an exotic touch with a camel as Banbury care homes stage a Christmas scene for residents

A Nativity scene came alive for residents of two Banbury area care homes when a camel joined the cast.
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Lake House residents were joined by others from Larkrise care home, Banbury for the Christmas event which was given a touch of eastern magic with the exotic animal – named Kokoso.

The residents were joined by members of their families, carers and volunteers. The event was staged in response to a Christmas wish expressed by residents to create an enchanting nativity scene that brought the Christmas story to life for everyone.“We strongly believe in listening to our residents and honouring their wishes, especially at Christmas,” said Sally Cross, Home Manager at Lake House.

“When the idea of a camel visit at Christmas was suggested during one of our resident meetings, the shared enthusiasm and excitement was palpable. We are thrilled to make this dream a reality and create a magical Christmas experience for our residents. It’s not every day you get to see a camel in a nativity scene in a care home.”

Lake House resident John Webb gets close to Kokoso the camel during the NativityLake House resident John Webb gets close to Kokoso the camel during the Nativity
Lake House resident John Webb gets close to Kokoso the camel during the Nativity

Resident John Webb took part in the nativity scene, donning a costume as one of the Wise Men.

“I like animals and I’ve never seen a camel in real life. I think Kokoso is lovely. We don’t realise how lovely animals are, until you meet them up close,” he said.

Known for its camaraderie and family atmosphere, everyone at Lake House pitched in to help prepare for the camel’s arrival and make the nativity scene as special as possible. Carers, residents’ family members and volunteers starred as Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men and angel Gabriel.

Activities co-ordinator Joanna Dixon and administration assistant Sarah Chilton made the costumes. The kitchen team prepared traditional treats from the Middle East, including fruit teas, Turkish delight and baklava and the summerhouse in the dementia-friendly garden was decorated to look like a stable.

Lake House and Larkrise are run by The Orders of St John Care Trust, a not-for-profit care provider with 17 homes and six extra care housing schemes across Oxfordshire supporting individuals in residential, dementia, nursing and respite care. For more information, visit

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