Making residents' dreams come true in every single home
When a resident hangs a wish on the tree, the care home team and their family will go above and beyond to try and grant it. These wishes can be big or small – from getting a tattoo or seeing the Dreamboys, to flying a plane!
Our vision at Care UK is to give residents fulfilling and active lives, and the Wishing Tree initiative is just one way we live that ethos. Keep scrolling to read more about residents' wishes.
Helen from Foxland Grange decided to make her teenage dream come true and get her first tattoo. The 77 year old resident had always wanted a tattoo, since admiring her late partners, who was a biker. Keen to fulfil her dream, Helen braved the needle – much to her enjoyment.
The team at The Potteries helped resident David visit the Poole Quay pub his great-grandfather used to own in the early 1900s. David had always wanted to visit the pub to see it for himself and to be closer to his family history.
Resident Barbara from Darlington Court has been passionate about art since school and kept it as a hobby throughout her life. She had always wanted to experience a life drawing class for herself so the home welcomed a nude model to complete her lifelong wish!
I really enjoyed the class; especially as other residents joined in and enjoyed it too. I was especially impressed with how long the model could remain still in a pose!Barbara
Airforce veteran Bill was thrilled when the team at Chichester Grange aranged a visit to Tangmere Aviation Museum, where he was reunited with the English Lightning Fighter Aircraft. Bill had worked on this aircraft during the Second World War and had proud memories of the airplane.
85-year-old dare devil Sally took to the skies and soared over Penrhyn Slate Quarry at 100mph on a 1.5km zipline – the fastest in the world. In the past Sally has paraglided over Morzine, in France, but was determined to soar even higher. When the team at Deewater Grange learnt about her wish, it was their pleasure to grant it for her.
Pauline was amazed when a bearded dragon, reticulated python and three-year-old salt water crocodile all crawled into the home. She was delighted to be able to get up close with the reptiles, stroking and even feeding them. A lifelong reptile lover, crocodiles are a firm favourite for Pauline and having them come to visit was very special.
When Tony was growing up, his home was filled with animals for as long as he could remember, which is where his love for animals was born. Tony is an expert when it comes to animals great and small and believes that ‘you look after them and they will look after you’.
Team members at Dashwood Manor wasted no time in organising 89-year-old resident Dennis' lifelong wish to skydive. "My wish was to jump out of a plane and freefall for as long as possible," he said.
Dennis took to the skies on 25th April and jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet. After the jump he said: “It was splendid. The feeling of free falling was just amazing, and I was just trying to take it all in. It was better than I ever expected. Age is only a number. You can do anything if you are determined."
Age is only a number. You can do anything if you are determined.
Not only did Dennis take the leap on his skydive, but he also used the opportunity to fundraise for Marie Curie. Read more about Dennis' skydive experience, or watch the video below.
Many residents' wishes relate to their favourite sports.
I have always loved tennis and get great enjoyment from Wimbledon in particular. To be there again after so many years was very special.Bridget, a resident at Appleby House
At Deewater Grange, colleagues arranged a surprise trip to Everton’s Goodison Park for residents Corinne and Howard. They had talked in detail about their decades-long devotion as Everton fans and often reminisced on memories spent watching the team in action.
The club treated Corinne and Howard by offering them a private tour around the changing rooms, boardrooms, grounds, trophy room and the pitch to see where all the action happens.
But they're not the only ones whose football dreams have come true. Foxland Grange arranged a surprise trip to a football stadium for resident Fred Green after hearing about his 55 years as a Wolves fan and memories spent watching the football team in action as a child.
“The experience of going back to Wolverhampton Wanderers was absolutely incredible. I am so grateful for the chance to have returned to Molineux Stadium for a special tour thanks to the team at Foxland Grange. Reminiscing about my football days certainly brought back many lovely memories,” Fred said.
The nostalgic trip to the stadium also saw Danny meet club legend John Wark and current player Sam Morsy. Watch the video below to see his wish come true...
Two homes arranged special motorcycle dreams-come-true so residents could relive their biker days. At Hartismere Place, the team organised a surprise visit from a local biker group for 85-year-old Tony who was an avid motorcyclist in his youth.
Seeing all those bikes was incredible – I couldn’t believe everyone was there for me!Tony, a resident at Hartismere Place
Jim said: “It was excellent, everything about it! I loved seeing all the different bikes and meeting the bikers too – they were a very nice and friendly bunch of chaps! I loved trying on the jacket. It has been quite some time since I’ve seen a motorbike up close like that."
After learning about his time spent as a racing driver in the 1950s, the team at Weald Heights put their ideas into gear and planned a surprise outing to Aston Martin Sevenoaks.
Commenting on the day, John said: “I thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon. It was a wonderful surprise and brought back so many happy memories from my racing days.”
Read more about the exciting wishes our teams have granted over the past few months.
A local care home has helped one resident visit the Poole Quay pub his great-grandfather used to own.
A care home resident had a blast from the past when she returned to the cinema she once worked at over 60 years ago.
Helen's wish for a tattoo of her cat came as a surprise and to the team at Dashwood Manor, but they couldn’t wait to start organising it for her.
The tattoo of a tabby cat was placed on Helen’s right arm and designed and tattooed by Basingstoke tattooist Sarah from Victory Doll.
I absolutely love the tattoo and I would like to thank the tattooist for being so patient and the team for organising it for me.Helen, a resident at Dashwood Manor
A resident at Colne View was thrilled when his wish to play the drums again was made a reality. 82-year-old Alan was a former drummer and was keen to relive his rock and roll days.
They found a smaller guitar which was in desperate need of repair, but luckily help was on hand as the home has its very own repair shop.
Once it was fixed and beautifully decorated with a little help from other residents, Cathy was ready to learn.
At Highmarket House in Banbury, the team knew that resident Violet Mitchel had worked building components for Spitfire aeroplanes during the Second World War. One day, Violet revealed that she had never seen a completed Spitfire – something she always regretted.
The team quickly got to work and contacted RAF Museum in Hendon. Along the way, two rather famous television personalities decided to lend a hand to make sure the wish was memorable. The result was Violet catching her first glimpse of the iconic plane arm in arm with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.
Another very happy lady who had her wish granted was Olwyn Hopkins, a resident at Davers Court in Bury St Edmunds. After she developed a phobia of flying when she took a flight at 19 years old, Olwyn vowed to never step foot on a plane again. However, for her 99th birthday her wish was to combat her fear and fly again, so we made it happen. Not content with just doing it once, for her hundredth birthday in 2019, she took to the skies again! Olwyn said it was the best experience she ever had.
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