North East Connected

Elderly cast their postal votes at care home polling station

AN UNOFFICIAL polling station was set up at a Teesside care home to allow residents to exercise their right to vote.

Staff at Ingleby Care Home, on Lamb Lane, Ingleby Barwick, turned the home’s “Sun Lounge” into a makeshift polling station on local election day.

With many of the home’s vulnerable, elderly residents being unable to visit a real polling station, most had signed up to receive postal votes.

The staff wanted to provide the familiar experience of visiting a polling station to cast their ballots, however, so they decided to set up their own.

Sheila Coburn, 87, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to vote, especially after women fought to get the same rights as men when it came to voting. I was really happy to use the home’s polling station to complete my postal vote.”

After all the home’s residents had cast their votes, the home activities coordinator, Kirsty Walsh, took the sealed envelopes to the nearest polling station.

She said: “Many of our residents are elderly, frail and vulnerable, so we wanted to provide them with a safe way to cast their votes on local election day.

“We made sure that those unable to visit a polling station had registered for a postal vote and then we set up an unofficial booth in our Sun Lounge.

“The residents enjoyed having a private place to complete and submit their postal votes and most of them were beaming with pride knowing they had played a part in the democratic process.”

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