Increasingly, our homes are all introducing a wishing tree – a small real or artificial tree which is set up in a shared area of the home where residents can hang their written wishes. Wishes can be small or large, but whatever a resident’s wish, the home team, in partnership with the person’s family, goes about making it happen.
So, when Olwyn Hopkins, a resident at Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds, decided her wish was to face her fear of flying, the team set about arranging a flight with a difference.
Olwyn developed a flying phobia, aged 19, after a turbulent short trip from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight in 1937. She had never flown again, until late last year when – with her 100th birthday approaching – she took a flight in a glider with the Rattlesden Gliding Club.
“It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft,” Olwyn says. “I didn’t think I’d get the chance again after all these years, so it was a fantastic surprise. I wasn’t frightened at all. I want to show people that you can do anything you want to, no matter how old you are – age has no boundaries!”
Wendy Harvey, home manager at Davers Court, said: “When Olwyn submitted her wish, we were thrilled to help her tick a ‘must do’ off her bucket list. Olwyn had a brilliant time and it was great to see her overcome a fear she’s had for so many years – she’s not stopped smiling since!”