• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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Pensioner fundraises for care home almost 300-miles away

A PENSIONER was inspired to fundraise for a care home almost 300-miles away after seeing a video of her cousin dancing.

Joan Chandler, 84, was sent the video of Harry West, 75, strutting his stuff at Willowdene Care Home, in Hebburn, Northumberland.

Harry, who has advanced dementia, has lived at the home for over two years and Joan travels from Ipswich to see him annually.

When listening to music at the home, Harry got up to dance with activities coordinator Christine Chandler (no relation to Joan).

The moment was captured on camera by his daughter, Angela Groark, who sent the footage to Joan.

She also sent photos of a specialised toolbox given to Harry by staff as a therapeutic device to help with symptoms caused by his dementia.

Harry was a council plumber for over 26 years and, despite difficulties with memory and communication, his need to find something to fix never left.

Joan was so pleased with the care her cousin was receiving she threw a tea party for her friends, which included a showing of singing competition Young Voices of the Year, which her granddaughter competed in.

Through donations of £10 per person, she raised £70 for Willowdene Care Home’s residents’ fund, which supports outings and activities for those living at the home.

Joan delivered the money personally during a visit with her daughter, Sandra Garrod. She said: “Harry was like the brother I never had. It was just wonderful to see how well he is being looked after and especially to see him dancing again.”

The home’s activities coordinator Christine, who was presented with the funds, said: “Harry is a beloved resident at Willowdene Care Home and, as with all our residents, his care, comfort and safety is our highest priority.

“It was lovely to meet Harry’s cousin Joan and thank her personally for her donation to the residents’ fund.”