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Care Home Resident Boards Boat Full of Happy Memories

A Dorset care home arranged for one of its residents to relive his love of the sea with a trip on a special boat from his past.

John Duffield, a resident at Colten Care’s Outstanding specialist dementia home Fernhill, in Ferndown, enjoyed a sail around Poole harbour aboard The Friends of Dolphin boat Dolphin III.

The specially-designed Dolphin III offers free and fully accessible trips around Poole Harbour to people with disabilities.

The boat is crewed entirely by volunteers, with an experienced skipper in charge of every trip.

Keen sailor John was a volunteer crew member with the Friends of Dolphin charity for 10 years and was accompanied on his return by some of his fellow Fernhill residents and staff from the home, as well as his wife Jocelyn.

Jocelyn said:
“John adored the water from his early years and during the school holidays he used to sail boats from Wick to Mudeford for £1 a day. But he said he would have done it for free.”

She continued: “John went on to sail throughout his life. Once, during our sailing years together we had a Search and Rescue helicopter actually hovering overhead us offering evacuation in stormy weather. But John refused and told me to: “Keep on bailing!” as we would: “Wash up on shore if needs be!”

John and his party were taken around the harbour entrance and spotted wildlife including seals and cormorants.

They also passed Brownsea Island where John once volunteered by helping at the quay.

Fernhill Companion Anne-Marie Knight said:
“The skipper John Buckby and crew of the Dolphin III couldn’t have been more attentive and kind to John.

“John talked to our John about their shared love of the water and explained how the Dolphin III will take around 200 trips this season between May and September. We are so grateful to them all for making this wonderful trip possible.”

Jocelyn agreed: “It was a brilliant day out with a scrumptious picnic in the beautiful English summer and seeing how much of a smile it put on John’s face was very touching for us all.”