Memorial tree planted at 'Outstanding' care home

A man whose Mother lived at Lucerne House Care Home in Exeter at the end of her life, has helped plant a memorial tree outside the care home as a permanent way for care home staff, residents, relatives and friends of the home to remember those who lived there.

Chris Wallington sprinkled the first layer of soil onto the roots of the memorial tree at a planting ceremony held on 20th April, attended by residents, relatives and care home staff. 

The ceremony began with General Manager, John Bayliss giving a speech in honour of past residents and sharing why he felt it was so important to have a spot at Lucerne House for people to stop and remember those who have passed away.

Mr Wallington then took up a spade to cover the roots of the tree and unveiled the official plaque, to applause from all those who gathered together for the occasion.

The tree planting ceremony was part of a special day of celebrations at Lucerne House after the home was rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC. In addition to the tree planting ceremony, an awards ceremony was held that evening for staff to thank them for their hard work and commitment to delivering outstanding care services.

Barchester Healthcare’s CEO Dr Pete Calveley attended the awards to give his personal thanks to the home. Only around 1% of care homes in England have achieved ‘Outstanding’ ratings from CQC so it is testament to the exceptional dedication and skill demonstrated by the team.

John Bayliss, General Manager at Lucerne House said: “This was a very special day for all of us at Lucerne House and the guests who joined us.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Chris for helping us plant the memorial tree outside Lucerne House Care Home. This is an important addition to our grounds, which means so much to so many, and honours the memory all the special individuals we have cared for, including Chris’ mother.

“It was wonderful to continue the celebrations into the evening with our awards ceremony for staff. An ‘Outstanding’ rating from CQC is a huge achievement for the whole team and they really deserved this recognition.”

The memorial tree is located at the front of Lucerne House Care Home for all to see and anyone who wishes to is welcome to hang a message of remembrance from its branches.