International Friendship Day on 7th August brought back a lot of special memories for people living in Barchester care homes, where staff organised events to mark the day and spoke to residents about the people most dear to them.
97 year-old Mary Reynolds, who lives at Wimbledon Beaumont Care Home, shared the story of her life-long friendship with Cathy, whom she met when she was ten. The two friends were separated during World War II but continued to write to each other every day for the next 80 days.
Mary said: “Cathy and I have been friends for eighty seven years since we met at school aged ten years. Incredible as it may seem today the prospectus for the school stated “a school for the daughters of gentlemen”!! We were inseparable until parted by WW2 and both married. Our husbands were not congenial but it made no difference to our friendship. When apart we wrote to one another every day and posted every Monday, even during the twenty years my family and I spent in Kenya. We shared all our lives and thoughts and hopes.”
Mary’s amazing story of lifelong friendship is one of many that came to light on International Friendship Day. In other Barchester care homes across the country, stories were shared, cards and bracelets were made and messages were written for loved ones.
Mallard Court in Bridlington not only spoke of old friends, but also celebrated the newer friendships which are formed when people come to move into a care home.
Bessie and Ivy, both live at Mallard Court, and met for the first time when they moved into the home in 2014. Bessie used to work as a nurse and Ivy was a hairdresser and a home carer. The women immediately bonded when they met and soon became the very best of friends, regularly sharing a cup of tea or a glass of sherry and a chat.
Staff at Mallard Court made sure the pair were able to enjoy a glass or two together on International Friendship Day. Lifestyle Coordinator, Steve Moss even brought along his Labrador, Tiah, who is a regular visitor and a great friend to everyone at the home.