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Friends of the Elderly Malvern and Malvern Day Care Service Honour the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

Residents and Day Care Clients Transported Back To 1944 With Morgan Cars, 1940s Attire, Entertainment – and Fish and Chips


The care team at charity, Friends of the Elderly’s Malvern-based Davenham, Perrins House and Bradbury Court, the residential, nursing and dementia care homes which are collectively known as Friends of the Elderly Malvern, and Malvern Day Care Service, transported residents and clients back to June 1944 to honour D-Day’s 80th Anniversary.


The D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 marked the liberation of France and Western Europe. It was a massive operation, with the invasion including nearly 133,000 troops from the British Commonwealth, their Allies and the United States – and 7,000 ships.


“We wanted to honour, mark and celebrate the 80th Anniversary of such an important day in history,” said Jo Bennett, the General Manager at Friends of the Elderly Malvern. “Many of our residents, day care clients and respite guests lived through the war years and have vivid recollections of that time and often reminisce about their wartime experiences; so we wanted to commemorate D-Day’s 80th Anniversary in a special way.”


The day got off to a ‘hi-di-ho’ start, with the care team donning 1940s costumes. “One of our domestic team, Karen Packer, made beautiful textile land girl headscarves for our lady residents, with our gentlemen looking smart in classic hats,” continued Jo. Clients from Malvern Day Care also looked stunning in patriotic red, white and blue garments.


Visitors, residents and day care clients enjoyed musical performances by singer, Judi B, who delighted everyone with songs from the era. “The residents and day care clients thoroughly enjoyed Judi’s lovely voice and the song choices,” added Tina Ellenton, the Activities Coordinator at Davenham, the residential care home at Friends of the Elderly. “Feet were tapping, hands were clapping and the residents and day care clients joined in with the singing at every chance they got. They had a wonderful time.”


Laura Smith, the Activities Coordinator at Bradbury Court, Friends of the Elderly’s Dementia Care Home added: “The 6th June this year is also National Fish and Chip Day, a quintessential British dish that all the residents and day care clients thoroughly enjoy. We couldn’t miss this opportunity, so at lunch time, everyone tucked into delicious fish and chips to set them up for the afternoon.”


In the afternoon, Friends of the Elderly Malvern welcomed some iconic Morgan Cars to the grounds. Shirley Bradley, Friends of the Elderly’s Head of Day Care Services arranged for the classic cars to pay a visit. “Morgan has been producing cars in Malvern for over 110 years,” said Shirley. “The cars’ characteristic, timeless design is so iconic. The residents and day care clients loved seeing the vehicles and enjoyed asking questions about their performance and design. The cars’ visit was a great addition to the D-Day celebrations at Friends of the Elderly Malvern.”


The residents are so knowledgeable, particularly about the war years,” continued Selena Whittaker, the Activities at Perrins House, the nursing home at Friends of the Elderly Malvern. “It’s amazing the things I learn from the residents. For example, we were chatting over our fish and chip lunch when a resident told me that D-Day was delayed twice. It was planned for 1st May 1944, but it had to be delayed as so many landing craft were needed.”


“Selena is right,” added Jo. “Another resident told me that the Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, wanted to go to sea with the fleet and watch the D-Day landings from HMS Belfast in person.  


“However, this was not thought to be a good idea and it took King George VI to stop him. The King said that if Churchill went, he’d go too, and this finally got Churchill to change his mind.


“The residents, day care clients, their family members, friends and all the care team had a great day, not only commemorating D-Day’s 80th Anniversary, but also joining in with Judi B’s performance, seeing the classic Morgan cars and enjoying their fish and chips. It was, as they said in the 1940s, a ‘Sweet’ and ‘hot diggity dog’ day,” concluded Jo.


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