Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by all residents at Royal Star & Garter.
The charity is gearing up for the big day on Wednesday 14 February by decorating its three Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe, and preparing extra special treats for the married couples it cares for.
Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia, from Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe. It has also launched new services reaching out into the community.
The charity is proud to be able to care for couples, enabling them to stay together even when they have to leave their martial home. Among the married couples celebrating in High Wycombe are Roy, a Navy veteran, and his wife Patricia. The couple are childhood sweethearts, who married in 1966. Also at the Home is Army veteran Neil, and his wife Betty. They married in 1969 after meeting at a judo class. Staff will serve up romantic meals for the couples, and arrange for small gifts to be exchanged between the pairs.
In Surbiton, Armed Forces couple Vera, an RAF veteran, and Eric, who served in the Army for two years for his National Service, will be pampered by staff. They married in 1975. Another Surbiton couple, Jack and June, met at a dance while both serving in the Army, and last year celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Bob, who also served in the Army, will enjoy Valentine’s Day at the Home with his wife Rosemary, who he married in 1982.
In Solihull, resident Ann will welcome her husband Ray into the Home for a delicious Valentine’s lunch cooked by the in-house catering team. Ray comes to the Home daily with his dog Mallory, to see Ann, who he wed in 1960.
To ensure that all residents feel loved and included at Royal Star & Garter, the Homes are putting on special activities for Valentine’s Day. Residents are making cards during arts and crafts sessions, and heart-shaped biscuits in cookery activities. In Solihull, residents will receive Love Hearts sweets and chocolates on the day, while in Surbiton, a live concert will see an Elvis impersonator leaving fans All Shook Up.
‘A privilege to care for so many couples’
Shirley Hall, Director of Care & Wellbeing at Royal Star & Garter said: “The thought of being in a care home and separated from the person you love and have spent your life with is heart-breaking. That’s why it’s such a privilege for us to care for so many couples at this stage of their lives. It’s also lovely that staff help bring couples like Ann and Ray together, and put in so much effort to make the day special for all our residents. Valentine’s Day may be a difficult time for many who have lost loved ones, and our staff are there to make everyone feel special. The chefs are busy prepping delicious meals and treats, there’s lots of fun activities going on, and I know we will share some Valentine’s Day love with everyone in the Homes.”
‘It’s nice to be with my friends’
Lillian, a resident at the Solihull Home, said: “It’s nice to be with my friends here on Valentine’s Day, and with the staff who do so much each day to keep us happy and involved.”
Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents into its three Homes. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, visit www.starandgarter.org