Rose Martha Court care home in Leigh-on-Sea is preparing for a quiet Remembrance Day of reflection, as COVID restrictions mean traditional activities must go on hold.
Residents at the care home, based on Leigh Road, would usually visit nearby Leigh Road church to remember brave service people, or attend an event at a local memorial to lay a wreath, however this year these events may not take place due to government restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Where events are occurring, vulnerable people, including older people, are encouraged not to attend.
To ensure the residents of Rose Martha Court still have the opportunity to remember those who served in the World Wars, and subsequent conflicts, the home is arranging internal events to allow for reflection and to celebrate the lives of the veterans and their families.
Resident Queenie Watts,age 89, assisted activities co-ordinator Joanna Furtak , to decorate the home with hand-crafted poppies hanging from the ceiling. The wall of the lounge, has been decorated with poppies, wreaths and flags. On Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, the home will also be watching the transmission on BBC and participating in a two-minute silence, listening to Vera Lynn and sing a long songs. The home has also planned an afternoon tea and will look at photos from WW1 to help residents reminisce.
Lianne Parkin, home manager at Rose Martha Court, said: “It has been a very strange year for everyone, however we have been working hard to help the residents feel included as part of the wider community, as well as feeling safe and stimulated within the home.
“Remembrance Day is incredibly important to many of our residents, particularly those who are veterans or who have family members who have served, and we knew we needed to find a way to mark it appropriately, even if we couldn’t visit a public event.
“We are giving our residents time and space to reflect and remember and sharing stories of our own experiences and those of our loved ones on this significant day. We hope that next year we will be back out in the community, together again.”
Beryl Hartley, age 73, a resident at Rose Martha Court, said: “I was very pleased that the home decided to mark Remembrance Day, because we can’t go to church or the memorial. It’s very important that we never forget those who gave their lives for us all those years ago.
“The poppies on the window look lovely and I will be remembering those which suffered their lives, when we have our two-minute silence.”