Staff at Lostock Lodge Care Home in Lostock Gralam near Northwich helped resident Pam Riley to fulfil her wish to see a ballet performance. The wish was fulfilled as part of a ‘Make a wish’ initiative run by Country Court, the company behind Lostock Lodge Care Home. Residents are given the opportunity to tell staff about somewhere they have always wanted to go or a special activity they always wanted to do.
Ninety-one-year-old Pam wished to see a ballet performance. She has always enjoyed dancing, especially ballet and spent many years dancing as part of a dance group in Cheshire. Pam has always retained her passion for ballet and was very excited to have a special live performance just for her.
The team at Lostock Lodge got in touch with opera and ballet company Constella Opera Ballet who run “Connecting Stars”. This project, generously funded by Arts Council England, organises free virtual live performances by some of the UKs finest professional musicians, singers and dancers to care home residents across the UK. The initiative was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic when visitors were not allowed inside care homes and helps to help keep older people connected to their hobbies and interests. During an online session, London-based professional dancer Alice Oakley-Jones chatted with Pam and her husband Norman and treated them to an exclusive performance.
“Pam had a fantastic time,” said Steph Molden, Home Manager at Lostock Lodge. “We set up the big screen in the cinema room so she could fully appreciate the experience and decorated the room with a ballet theme too, she absolutely loved it!”
Commenting on her experience, Pam said, “I felt very special for the whole day, I cannot believe the performance was just for us. It was delightful to see Alice dance with such elegance - all from her living room!”
The ‘Make a wish’ initiative has seen residents from across the Country Court group enjoy special outings and activities; from scoring goals at Sheffield United Football Club, to off-road driving and lots of special day trips and outings.