A 109 year old resident of Barchester’s Cubbington Mill Care Home in Leamington Spa has been chosen to carry the baton in the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games.
Filled with excitement and wearing his official uniform, John Farringdon, the oldest man in the West Midlands, has been eagerly awaiting his moment to shine and carry, with pride, the baton on its final stage to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
On Friday 22 July 2022, John and his carer companion, Laura Renalson, will meet with fellow batonbearers to collect the baton at a handover ceremony at Lifford Hall, Lower Green, Broadway in Worcester, to start their leg of its historic relay journey.
In preparation for the main event, Barchester homes across the region have undertaken their own baton relay, delivering a replica baton from home to home with the help of their residents and staff.
The home-made baton, created by John, husband of care home manager Debbie Osborne at Cherry Trees Care Home in Alcester, started its journey on 21st June being hand delivered by residents, to Latimer Court in Worcester. On June 23rd it travelled by minibus with the Latimer team to Edgbaston Beaumont Care Home for its stay before moving onto Broadway Halls on the 28th and finishing the month at The Spires care home in Lichfield. At every location the receiving homes held a party to celebrate its arrival.
July saw the Barchester baton hand delivered from The Spires to Fountains care home in Solihull. The Fountains residents welcomed the baton with a cream tea and live entertainment. Harper Fields care home in Balsall Common were the next to take possession on 7th July where it had the great honour of meeting resident ‘Vi’ from their Kempton Community as she celebrated her 100th birthday!
On the final stage of its journey to John Farringdon at Cubbington Mill the baton was delivered to Overslade House in Rugby by Harper Fields, for a good old sing-song with their talented activities coordinator, Julie. On the 14th July the baton was handed to the residents of Ashby House in Milton Keynes where they joined together for musical bingo!
On 20th July, residents and staff representatives from the participating homes gathered together at Cubbington Mill to see Victor, a resident from Ashby House personally present the baton to John Farringdon. The room erupted with claps and cheers as we wished John all the best for momentous occasion on Friday.
Laura Russell, General Manager at Cubbington Mill, said:
“We have been watching the Barchester Baton’s journey through the various Facebook posts and were thrilled to welcome staff and residents from so many of our Midlands homes today. This initiative has shown how closely we work together, it was wonderful to see residents chatting with one another and enjoying each other’s company over a cup of tea, and the odd glass of fizz!
“We’re extremely proud to have John reside within the Cubbington Mill family, he’s such a ‘gentle man’, still very much in awe of the Commonwealth challenge ahead. As he puts it “All this for me? Why? I’m only old”. We love John, and his humility, the honour of carrying the Queen’s baton at his age warms all our hearts.”
Cubbington Mill care home is run by Barchester Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest care providers, which is committed to delivering high-quality care across its care homes and hospitals. Cubbington Mill provides residential and nursing care for residents on respite care and longer term stays.