We're live-streaming virtual Christmas events into 240 care homes and hospitals

Hundreds of care home residents across the UK will be able to enjoy free live virtual tours and interactive talks about Blenheim Palace over the Christmas period.

We've joined forces with Barchester Healthcare, which runs more than 240 homes caring for around 12,000 people, to offer its staff and residents the chance to enjoy some festive cheer.

The talks will be led by our social historian and author Antonia Keaney, who will be joined by TV historian Dan Snow presenter of HISTORY HIT, the most listened to history podcast in the UK for curious minds, and actress Ruth Madoc, who will be featuring in the ‘As Seen on Screen’ livestream.

Each home watching will have the opportunity to win a luxury Christmas hamper kindly donated by Tesco who are providing £150 of Christmas treats for each live event as well as free access to History Hit's online TV channel, HistoryHit.TV.

In addition to our talks, Barchester Healthcare residents and staff will be able to enjoy virtual events from the English National Ballet, the British Army, a tour of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and a performance of A Christmas Carol by The Old Vic’.

All care homes across the UK have had to follow strict COVID-19 protocols set by public health authorities to keep residents safe and well which has meant that many have been unable to provide live in house performances and trips out of the homes have not been possible. 

“We have been using technology to keep residents connected with their loved ones as well as offer virtual events and activities during this time. 

“We are excited to work with Blenheim Palace on a project like this to bring fantastic experiences into our homes for all to enjoy this Christmas,” said Lucy Tomlinson, Resident Experience Manager at Barchester Healthcare.

Each of the four virtual tours will have a different topic from fashion and life below stairs to the Palace’s starring role in films including James Bond, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter and Cinderella and Christmases through the ages.

“I was delighted to get involved, we have broadcast a number of livestreamed events throughout lockdown for people and they’ve proved really popular,” said Antonia.

“It has been a tough year for all of us, but my heart really goes out to everyone involved with the care industry and the prospect of being able to offer a little bit of festive cheer was too good to miss.

“We’re so pleased both Dan Snow and Ruth Madoc have agreed to join me on two of the virtual tours and we’re hoping to have some more special guests and some other surprises to reveal soon,” she added.

We are hosting our own series of live and recorded virtual tours and talks every Wednesday at 7.30pm until the end of January 2021, for more information and to register visit our Virtual Talks and Tours event page.

Dan Snow Ruth Madoc Antonia Keaney Barchester Care Home Residents Barchester Care Home Residents