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Chingford care home resident’s wish to fly again is granted

Highlighted home news

A care home in Chingford organised a special trip for an RAF veteran to take to the skies once again.

Arthur Clark, aged 102, was surprised with a visit to Classic Wings in Cambridge to fly in a Dragon Rapide plane.

After finding out about Arthur’s career as an RAF pilot – he was part of the 2896 squadron that was formed in 1942 and deployed to India and Singapore – the team at Care UK’s Ivy Grove, on Hatch Lane, worked to grant Arthur’s wish to fly in a war plane again. 

On the day, Arthur was met by his family and fellow resident Richard Hawe, who joined him in the plane. After pilot Craig Brierley explained that there were only a few Dragon Rapide planes in existence and restored to modern flying regulations, it was time to take to the skies. Arthur flew over London.

Arthur said: “To be up in the air again and to see London at that view was amazing. It has been a long time since I have been to London. I didn’t realise how many tall buildings there are now. Going back to Duxford and seeing all the aircraft again brought back good memories.” 

Ivy Grove is not new to granting wishes; the care home has a Wishing Tree initiative that allows residents to suggest ideas for activities they would like to do, helping them to live fulfilling lives. From ziplining through mountains to a fish-and-chip supper, no wish is too big or too small.

April Jones, Home Admissions Advisor, said: “At Ivy Grove, we encourage residents to lead fulfilling lives, whether that comes from helping out in the garden or flying down memory lane like Arthur.

“It was lovely to see Arthur reconnect with something he is passionate about. He was in his element during the plane ride, sharing his knowledge but also taking in what the pilot had to say too.

“We were thrilled to be able to make Arthur’s wish become reality. He had a wonderful time and loved every minute of the day. We want to say a big thank you to the team at Classic Wings and look forward to granting more wishes for the residents at Ivy Grove soon.”

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, Ivy Grove incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities. The layout of the building has been configured to help facilitate the creation of close-knit communities and encourage social interaction among residents.  

Open to new residents

71 Hatch Lane, Chingford, Greater London, E4 6LP

Ivy Grove

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club