TWO celebrity monkeys took a day off from filming movies to visit a Witney care home.

Malcolm and Mitchell were special guests at Madley Park House on Wednesday as they sat on peoples’ shoulders, laps and walking frames while they chattered away.

The squirrel monkeys are minor celebrities in the animal world, having appeared in the first Paddington Bear Film, a music video by rapper Tinie Tempah and BBC drama ‘Our Zoo’.

Residents at The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) home were delighted to be joined by the pair, in a visit organised by the home’s activity co-ordinators Carly Willimont and Kerry Hyatt.

Ms Willimont explained the idea was part of the trust’s aim to find new ways to keep residents occupied.

She said: “OSJCT encourage all activity coordinators in the trust to think of innovative ways to do something different to help residents gain new life experiences or to reminisce on times gone by.

“It is wonderful for us to see residents engaging with animals and with each other which we find really rewarding and incredibly fulfilling.”

Edna Belcher, 101, took a particular liking to Malcolm and Mitchell as the monkeys stopped by for the morning.

They were taken around the home to visit residents in their rooms and were the main attraction in the social areas during morning tea.

The pair are brothers, aged 21 and 22-years-old respectively, with their own distinct characters and traits.

Malcolm and Mitchell live in a specially constructed monkey house and outside enclosure at Heythrop Zoological Gardens, Chipping Norton.

The facility claims to be the UK’s largest privately owned zoo animal collection of its kind and keeps a host of other animals who actively participate in various events.

Animal engagement with the elderly is proven to be therapeutic, with pet therapy increasingly used in care homes and hospitals.

It is also an important interactive social factor between residents, their carers and the community.

OSJCT provides care, support and housing to residents and tenants across 72 homes and 16 accommodation schemes in Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, West Sussex and Suffolk.

The trust delivers dedicated person-centred care for the elderly including dementia, intermediate, respite, day care, and specialised nursing.

Colleagues are trained to help residents achieve an active and fulfilling life.

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