Skip to content

Staplehurst care home residents treated to Wimbledon tennis party

The Wimbledon fun day at Abbotsleigh Care Center

Submitted for publication by PicPR

Residents and staff of Abbotsleigh Care Center in Staplehurst, Kent, enjoyed strawberries and cream and tennis on a live big screen as Nellsar, a family run care group, launched it’s Tennis-Talents charity.

The care group with 13 care homes across Kent, Surrey and Essex, recently founded Tennis-Talents, a registered charity committed to giving young people the opportunities and skills to enjoy longevity in the sport in which they love, regardless of their financial background.

The charity launch was spearheaded by the care group’s very own Alina Abagiu, Joy Cagande and Viv Stead and residents of Abbotsleigh embraced the Wimbledon theme, donning headbands and racquets in a backdrop of white, green and purple bunting.

The event was also held to thank staff for all their hard work over the last two years, and gave the residents a chance to embrace the sport they loved playing in their younger years – with many having attended some Grand Slams themselves. In addition to Wimbledon-themed cakes and a barbecue staff got into the spirit by dressing up as their favorite players, with Nellsar’s managing director, Martin Barrett, being John McEnroe for the day.

Tennis fun day at Abbotsleigh care center

Resident June Spencer said: “It was a lovely day all-round, especially the food and friendliness on offer. I enjoyed watching the tennis on the big screen. I wish I had taken the sport up when I was younger.”

Nellsar Recreation and well-being champion, Paula Smy, said: “It meant a lot to us to see the senior management team there having fun with us and the local community. It felt more like a family party than a working day – after all, it’s not every day you get to watch live Grand Slam tennis on a giant screen with strawberries and cream, in addition to watching local professionals in person.”

Amongst Tennis-Talents, inaugural members was Alessia Popescu, an aspiring 17-year-old tennis wonderkid from Kent, who is ranked third in the county and 700th worldwide.

Originally born in Romania, the teenager showcased early signs of promise from a very young age and a decision was made by her family to move to Bucharest, where her steps towards a professional career began with highly-rated performance coach, Vlad Mosteanu at the Dinomo Club, Bucharest.

Years later, having represented her country several times at youth level, Alessia and her family decided to reallocate again to facilitate their daughter’s rapidly blossoming career, this time moving to London, where she met her current coach, Claire Taylor, a former British champion with a career-high WTA ranking of 150.

Looking to utilize her array of sporting wisdom, Alessia, along with a host of the charity’s other rising stars, visited Abbotsleigh Care Center during the launch event, where she participated in several tennis-themed activities with residents to encourage them to get involved and stay active, both physically and mentally.


Speaking after the event, Martin Barrett, Managing Director at Nellsar, said: “Myself, Alina, Joy and Viv are absolutely delighted to officially launch Tennis-Talents. As a family-run business, when someone is knocked down, we feel that we have a moral obligation to run to that person’s aid.

“We’re all so proud of Alessia for everything she has achieved so far in her career and we look forward to supporting her journey for many years to come. She’s such an incredible role model to everyone at Nellsar and we all cannot wait to get behind her and take the world of tennis by storm.”

If you would like to make a donation to Tennis-Talents, please visit

Get all the latest news, updates, things to do and more from Staplehursts’s dedicated InYourArea feed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.