Haywood Lodge care home resident, Ralph Heaven, was overwhelmed to find he had been sent over 650 birthday cards from the Studley community this week, as he turned 100 years old.
Ralph Heaven, a former tap dancer and Harrods employee for 46 years, woke up on his birthday to find the home had been transformed to look like a cruise ship, sailing along the Amalfi coast.
Haywood Lodge Caretaker, Terry Whiston, dressed up as the cruise ship Captain to surprise Ralph.
Ralph’s family were all waiting as he arrived in the dining hall, wearing his white tuxedo to have dinner at the ‘captain’s table’. Staff, residents, family and friends all sung ‘Happy Birthday’ as he entered the room.
After enjoying a three-course meal with the ‘captain’, Ralph was presented with a massive 665 birthday cards from his family, friends, the care staff, the community and of course, Her Majesty The Queen.
Much to his surprise, Ralph also received a gift beautiful hamper from his former employer, Harrods. Ralph was overwhelmed by all the cards, gifts, flowers and balloons he received.
The Mappleborough Green Town Crier paid Ralph a visit, joined by Studley Councillor Adrian Smith, who both joined in to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ once again when care staff brought out Ralph’s birthday cake.
Later in the afternoon, local dance school, Emma Charlotte’s Dance Academy arrived to perform some tap dancing for Ralph. The children said were all very excited to meet a 100-year-old man!
In the evening, Ralph, his family and friends, fellow residents and care staff sat down to a hot buffet. Ralph said,
‘I had the best day ever! I’m absolutely overjoyed with all the cards, gifts and lovely messages. I especially loved the dancers who came to perform for me – meeting the children made me feel young again!’
Ilze Careless, the Regional Director for Haywood Lodge, said,
‘Ralph’s 100th birthday was an incredible celebration, and very much deserved. Ralph has become such a big part of our Haywood Lodge family; we couldn’t wait to give him a birthday he’ll never forget.’
‘I’d like to thank the amazing team at Haywood Lodge, who pulled out all the stops to make this a day to remember for Ralph.’
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Haywood Lodge is a purpose-built luxury residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. With 66 ensuite bedrooms, the home provides person-centred care and a full and varied activities programme.