Care UK’s wishing tree initiative is continuing despite the challenges lockdown has brought to activities like trips out that are normally part of care home life.
In Oxfordshire, the care home team found a way to help a former East London resident reconnect with his roots by fulfilling his rather unusual request.
Ron Hayes, a resident at Care UK’s Millers Grange made a wish to have a traditional ‘Cockney knees up’, so the the team got busy making it happen.
On the day, the chefs at Millers Grange prepared a special Cockney-themed menu featuring jellied eels, as well as pie and mash. The home’s café was also turned into a tavern, where residents enjoyed a sing-along, led by Ron dressed as the Pearly King.
Alison Parry, Home Manager at Millers Grange, said: “We actively encourage residents to reminisce about their younger years, from life-long passions and hobbies, to their favourite places and memories growing up.
“Ron is a true Cockney, ‘born within the sound of Bow Bells’ as he likes to say, with an instantly recognisable accent, which is something he’s really proud of. When he said he’d like a ‘Cockney knees up’, we knew we had to make his wish come true.
“Our chefs’ special menu, featuring some of Ron’s favourite dishes, proved really popular with all the residents, and everyone had a great time celebrating all things Cockney in our very own tavern for the night – it was a truly memorable event for everyone involved.”
Ron was born in London on 22nd February 1933 and spent a large part of his life in the East End, moving to Millers Grange earlier this year. He met his wife Barbara Louise at a motorbike café; and together they had three sons, Karl, Shaun and Warren, During his time in the capital, he worked as driver and personal assistant to Henry Ford II on his regular visits the UK, and even met a real Pearly King at a club in Bermondsey.