Care home resident, Irene Kean, who lives at Ebor Court in York, was whisked away by care staff to her favourite holiday spot, Blackpool, to celebrate her milestone 100th birthday.
Over the past two years, staff at Ebor Court care home have been helping residents to write and publish their life stories as part of their unique ‘This Is Me’ project.
Knowing that Irene had spent many happy times in Blackpool over the years, Ebor Court’s Lifestyle Manager, Susie Carman, planned a special trip for Irene so that she could enjoy all the things that she loved about the seaside town.
Irene, who was originally from Eccles near Manchester, used to go to Blackpool as often as she could for her holidays, and spent her 80th and 90th birthdays there.
Susie said: “When we found out that Irene had some tremendous memories and tails of her adventures in Blackpool, we put our heads together and thought that taking Irene on a day trip would be the perfect way to celebrate her 100th Birthday.”
Thanks to Northern Rail, who kindly gave the care home five complimentary return train tickets to Blackpool, Irene, along with her friend and fellow resident June Falkingham, and three care home staff members all set off on their special trip two days before Irene’s birthday.
The care home team organised a full day of activities for Irene, including a trip to meet The Mayor of Blackpool, Cllr Kathryn Benson, who said:
‘It was an absolute pleasure for the Mayoress and myself to meet with Irene and all the staff and to celebrate her 100th birthday in Blackpool. We have already been to many functions this year, but this is one that we will always remember extremely fondly.’
Then it was another trip down memory lane as Susie arranged for Irene to have afternoon tea in the Tower Ballroom, where had spent many happy evenings as a young girl watching the dancers.
They also enjoyed lunch on the promenade, a fish and chip supper, a few gin and tonics by the sea and some slot machines in the arcades.
Susie said: “We had an absolutely amazing time visiting some of the places that Irene used to enjoy going to, and we were made to feel very welcome by everyone we met.
“We laughed all day and had the best time, and we finally strolled back into Ebor Court at nearly midnight.”
The birthday girl herself said: “My trip to Blackpool has been wonderful. As soon as we arrived, and I saw the sea and the tower, I knew I was back there. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, the sun shone all day. I enjoyed everything about it!”
She says of reaching a Century: “I think some of it was to do with me never having children. With children you have to put them first, but I never got the chance, so I made sure I did things, and went to places I enjoyed. Blackpool was the only place I really enjoyed coming to”
When asked by the staff if she would enjoy going again. Irene said “Of course!”
Ebor Court care home, on Great North Way in Nether Poppleton, is a purpose-built luxury care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. Close to local services and amenities, it is rated good by the Care Quality Commission.