A care home in Congleton Cheshire felt the powerful connection of gratitude this week following the inauguration of ‘Glazing with Gratitude’ – an initiative launched to enable the older generation to showcase their thanks and appreciation to those most cherished to them on National Day of Reflection.
Priesty Fields Care Home, which opened its doors at the back end of last year, welcomed local pottery studio, ‘Little Harts’, through its doors this week, enabling residents to spend the afternoon painting and decorating their own pottery lanterns to showcase their gratitude to loved ones on what is the two-year anniversary of the first official lockdown (23rd March).
The residents put tea lights in the lanterns to reflect something positive that happened during the pandemic, and to showcase gratitude to anyone who helped them through such a difficult and unprecedented period. The experience was orchestrated to boost emotional wellbeing, with many residents having lived through the isolation of lockdown, and some having recovered from COVID-19.
The experience resonated closely for 86-year-old resident, Margaret Zielinski, who was reunited with long-term friend, Vera Stanway, for an afternoon of arts and crafts in what was their first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic began 24 months ago.
Vera, who has been friends with Margaret since 1979, would phone her nearest and dearest confidant twice a day, every day during the lockdown in a bid to lift her spirits throughout the isolation period.
Accompanied by Margaret’s daughter, Chris, Vera made no effort in hiding her emotions during the ‘heartwarming’ reunion as she embraced the person she described as a “huge part of my life” for the first time post-pandemic.
She said: “Myself and Margaret have been friends for more than 43 years and we’ve been inseparable ever since. The pandemic was an extremely challenging time for us and represents the longest period we’ve had without seeing each other. To finally reunite with Marg after all this time was a moment I’ll cherish forever.”
Rishi Sodha, Care Director at Handsale, said: “To see Margaret and Vera’s smiles light up the room really made this an experience we at Priesty Fields will never forget. The past 24 months have been an emotional rollercoaster for everyone, and we felt that to mark the two-year anniversary of the first official lockdown, we’d put a positive spin on the occasion.
“The unique experience has proven to be an excellent way to give our residents some joy, while also, and importantly, allowing them to have the time and space to address their emotional wellbeing in a supportive environment. Looking after the mental wellbeing of our residents is a key priority at Priesty Fields and we were all well aware of the benefits showcasing gratitude can have on the mind and soul. We can’t thank Little Harts enough and we look forward to welcoming them back in the near future.”