Meet the family: RAF veteran and sportswoman Brenda

Getting to know residents and hearing about their life stories is vital for providing person-centred care, especially for those living with dementia. Finding out what is important to people, key life events and special family times helps people stay connected with their families and ensures staff get to know what is meaningful to them.

Meet Brenda who lives at The Grange Care Home in Newport

Brenda has an impressive collection of trophies and medals from her days as a keen sportswoman, she was champion freestyle swimmer for her county of Cornwall. Races were held in the sea, competitors swam the two miles back to the beach, a beautiful location where the TV show Poldark was filmed. Brenda likes to talk about her childhood and growing up in Cornwall and has some wonderful stories to share.

What are you most proud of in your life?

I always wanted to be a teacher, then I trained and became one. I also had a successful business with my husband Russell. We owned our own shop called Quendon Pottery.

Do you have a favourite place?

Charlestown in Cornwall, where I grew up, married my husband Russell and spent many happy years.

What is your favourite pastime?

I love gardening and could name all plants by Latin names.

Describe yourself in 3 words

  • Witty
  • Caring
  • Lovely (as told to me by my family and friends)

What do you enjoy most about living at The Grange care home?

I enjoy the company of other residents and staff. I like to be involved with the daily activities, I enjoy painting, spending time in the garden and the Oomph exercise sessions. I have a beautiful bedroom that I have made personal to me, I have pictures of my family around me and on my bedroom wall is a large painting of Charlestown harbour, which is where I grew up and where I used to compete in my swimming races.

What’s your favourite meal at The Grange care home?

I enjoy all the food at the Grange, especially the sweet stuff.

Brenda and Russell lived locally to Newport form many years, keen film goes they enjoyed visits to Saffron Screen where they would watch films and other musicals, with The Sound of Music being a particular favourite. On Thursday evenings they would meet with friends at The Cricketers Arms pub in Clavering where they would play dominoes, this friendship also took the eight of them away on holidays together.

Recently resident Brenda received a recognition of service for her time in the UK Armed Forces as an Air Defence Radar Operator during the Cold War, read more here.

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