Hughie Gebbie, a resident at Newfield Lodge care home in Castleford, had a long term wish granted for him last week when he was given the opportunity to visit his hometown of Newcastle. Hughie hadn’t been back to his birthplace for over 20 years after moving to Castleford in 1969 to be nearer his family.
Through conversations with staff at the home, Hughie expressed a wish to return to the North East but didn’t think the trip would be possible due to his decreased mobility. Ideal Carehomes, which operates Newfield Lodge, heard Hughie’s story and pledged to make the trip happen for Hughie.
Plans were put in place and the day of the trip finally arrived on 25 October. The home commissioned a taxi to take him to his destination in style and the first stop was Hughie’s beloved Newcastle United Football Club. He enjoyed a tour of the grounds, including the VIP area and spent time pitchside, visualising the footballing legends who would have played there over the years, including Sir Bobby Robson. Next stop was another of Hughie’s long term ambitions – to see the huge Angel of the North sculpture which was erected in 1998, long after he had left his hometown.
Hughie was astounded by the size of the sculpture and spent a long time taking in the beautiful views. Plenty had changed in the area, but Hughie still recognised many landmarks. He was treated to lunch before heading back to Castleford a very happy man. He said “The trip was fantastic – I have waited a long time to revisit Newcastle and it lived up to all my expectations. I will remember today for the rest of my life.”
Yvonne Mulholland, Regional Activities Executive for Newfield Lodge, was part of the team who organised the trip for Hughie. She said “Hughie mentioned that he really wanted to revisit Newcastle and I knew Ideal Carehomes could make it happen for him. The sheer joy on his face made the whole thing worthwhile and he hasn’t stopped talking about it. I am proud to work for a company who go one step further for our residents.”
Yvonne has since made Hughie a book full of pictures from his visit for him to look back on. Newfield Lodge provides residential and dementia care for 64 local older people. Through a varied programme of in-home activities and trips out, the home provides residents with person-centred care, creating aspirational lifestyle choices.