At The Lawn, the Alton-based residential care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, residents had a lovely surprise when TV gardening royalty and national treasure, Alan Titchmarsh, dropped in to say hello.
Mr Titchmarsh was visiting The Lawn’s residents and care team in his official capacity as Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Hampshire to say thank you to everyone on behalf of the Hampshire Lieutenancy for all their hard work during the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdowns.
During his visit, Mr Titchmarsh enjoyed a tour of the care home and its beautiful grounds, admiring the plants, shrubs, flowers and, of course, the lawn. Mr Titchmarsh, who made sure he had plenty of time to chat with residents, is no stranger to The Lawn as he last visited three years ago and said that: “The Lawn is just as bright, cheery and welcoming as I remember it.”
For one Lawn resident, Kathie Baines, seeing Alan Titchmarsh during his visit was a reunion of sorts. She said: “Alan and I used to be neighbours – we lived next-door to each other on the beautiful Isle of Wight. I absolutely love gardening and always watched his TV programmes, so finding out he was my next-door neighbour was incredibly exciting. It was lovely seeing him again. He is extremely friendly, and it bought back many happy memories of my old home.
Another resident, Dorothy Cory added: “Mr Titchmarsh looked very smart in his official uniform. I do so enjoy gardening and it was a pleasure to meet him.”
Alina Gutu, the Care Home Manager at The Lawn said: “It was lovely to host Mr Titchmarsh during his visit. All the residents were so happy to meet him and were over the moon when he said how wonderful and well cared for the grounds – and especially the lawn – were. We did ask if he had any gardening tips for us and he graciously said “Keep on doing just what you’re doing,” that was such a compliment.
“Like everyone, we have experienced difficult times during the pandemic, but we have worked hard to keep our residents safe, in touch with their loved ones and busy with activities. I am beyond proud of my team here at The Lawn as they have gone above and beyond to keep the resident’s spirits high whilst providing exceptional care. To receive thanks and appreciation from Alan Titchmarsh for our efforts really meant the world to all of us here.