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Prom Dream Comes True for Cardiff Woman

A service user at Cardiff’s Pinetree Hospital who thought she would never get the chance to wear a prom dress had her dream come true recently, thanks to the staff at the specialist hospital who pulled out all the stops to make her fantasy a reality.

Louise, 41, who is receiving specialist rehabilitation support from the service that provides person-centred care for adults with learning disabilities and other mental health disorders, recently shared her dream with a staff member.

Whilst on a therapy dog walk with Paul Sutton, one of the managers at Ludlow Street Healthcare which runs Pinetree, the pair passed a prom dress shop near the hospital and, seeing the dazzling array of clothes in the window, Lou confided her lifelong ambition to wear a prom dress.

Keen to make Lou’s dream a reality, Paul shared his idea for a prom dress photoshoot with the management team, who offered to purchase the dress, accessories and props needed to give her a moment she’d never forget.

Supported by Pinetree’s Hospital Director, Julie Nolloth, Lou picked out a dress, shoes, tiara, and wig. Lou’s Primary Care Nurse, Carol Davies, was tasked with transforming a conference room into a makeshift prom venue, complete with balloon arch and other props, including a bicycle with basket. A photographer was also hired to capture Lou’s special day.

Speaking about the experience, Lou said: “It really was the best day of my life. I’ve always dreamed of wearing a prom dress and I felt like an absolute princess. They even printed out my pictures for me to display in my room and created a photobook for me to look back on my special day. I’ll forever remember it and be grateful.”

Paul Sutton, Quality and Development Manager at Ludlow Street Healthcare, said:
“It was our absolute pleasure to help Lou realise her dream of picking out and wearing a prom dress.

“When Lou mentioned how she had always longed to wear a prom dress when we walked past the dress shop, I just knew we had to make it happen somehow.

“So many people within the company and at Pinetree have been involved in setting up the entire day, so it was a real collaborative effort. Our service users are at the absolute heart of everything we do and I’m so glad we were able to put such a big smile on her face and give her such lovely memories to look back on.”