Raise a glass! Lancashire care homes celebrate the anniversary of VE Day

Care homes across the borough enjoyed the VE Day celebrations, which mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Friday, 8th May 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 3:52 pm
VE Day celebrations with staff at Finney House

Residents were able to reminisce on memories from times of war and and celebrate the ending of the Second World War together.

On May 8, 1945, Winston Churchill announced the German surrender and the end of fighting, which saw the historic moment break out into celebrations across the country.

75 years on, care homes in Lancashire have been raising their glasses over finger sandwiches and union jacks to show their appreciation for the soldiers who fought for our freedom.

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Staff helped the residents celebrate at Finney House.

"We have had afternoon tea, a few of our staff have dressed up but it has proven more difficult with some residents having to self isolate," said Jen Stutter, Activities Coordinator for Finney House, Preston.

"We have observed the two minute silence together at 11am in remembrance of our soldiers that went to war for our country."

Finney House, on Flintoff Way, still celebrated in high spirits with an afternoon tea followed by singing, dancing and laughter to 1940's classics.

Social distancing meant residents at Sherwood Lodge, Fulwood had a different kind of celebration. Activities Coordinator Rob Frazer said: "It's obviously very difficult because the residents are for the most part in their rooms mainly.

VE Day celebrations at Finney House, Preston.

"We got them into the doorways of their rooms adorned with appropriate flags and hats and playing some Vera Lynn. They like to sing. We had a good sing song and flag waving. Much more than that it's difficult because we can't have a gathering because of the social distancing."

Memories of residents at Sherwood Lodge were brought back to life on VE day, with one resident, Brenda, aged 97, remembering waiting for her husband to return from the army safely from overseas. Brenda recalled that their VE day celebrations went on for days and that their young relationship started afresh after a four year gap.

Another resident, Tony Fraser, was only ten in 1945, but still recalled his father returning from serving Holland. Their family laughed when his dad turned his nose up at tomatoes, saying they were what he lived on in Holland and that he 'never wanted to see another one again.'

Across the borough, towns and villages have welcomed socially distanced street and garden parties, as communities dressed up and celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Margarithe waves her flag at Sherwood Lodge

At Moor Park House on Garstang Road, home administrator Sue Coyne said residents received an activity pack as part of the celebrations.

"Each of the rooms had a big activity pack with a lot of nostalgia things, quizzes, crosswords and colouring things," she said.

"One of our activities coordinators organised it all. We were going to have a singer in the grounds but we postponed that for a week to see what the weather is like. The staff were all dressing up."

She explained that staff had been asked to nominate colleagues who "had gone the extra mile" and hampers and bottles of wine would be distributed to show their appreciation of the caring work of staff.

Rene has fun in Union Jack fancy dress at Sherwood Lodge.