A HAMPSHIRE care home has recently welcomed new residents in the form of four orphaned lambs.

On May 3, the Director of the Warren Residential Lodge care home in Lee-on-Solent left residents surprised when she brought in four lambs.

The lambs are permanently living at the home, with residents being allowed to care for them, feed them and watch as they grow.

The director of the home, Kim Jackson, said the lambs have created a more "positive atmosphere" and also given residents something to look forward to.

She said she got the idea when a family friend, who owns a farm, said he wanted to sep up a therapy farm and go out to vulnerable client groups and asked if she could help with the business plan.

Kim said: " I personally enjoyed the bottle feeding of the lambs anyway, and after looking into the idea of a therapy farm, I just thought, my residents would really enjoy this.

"We do lots of activities like crafts but sometimes they like feeling needed and they like looking after something.

"I happened to see a couple of orphaned lambs for sale so I thought I'd go and get them."

The home has the capacity for 31 residents, but currently only has 17 ranging from 65 to aged 100.

Kim explained that the home was hit "severely" during January from Covid-19, losing seven residents in the space of two weeks, but these lambs have now given everyone a "morale boost".

The home director added: "We've got one lady who's got family in Canada, so she's ringing them up and telling them she has pictures to send them. They're almost treating them like babies.

"A lot of them don't like being treated like they're a patient, they want to be treated like a human and if they can look after something, why not give them that opportunity."

The lambs are now set to be bottle fed for the next month, but then after that staff say they will start to gradually stop feeding them that way.

When they grow, the plan is then to put them on an area of grazing land nearby so residents can still visit them.