Shropshire Star

Care home pair - born there when it was a maternity home - to switch on town's Christmas lights

Two residents of a care home in Broseley are over the moon to be picked to help switch on the Christmas lights in the town this year.

Front; Win Hitchen, manager Sam Carter and Pat Fielding. Holding the banner are carers Esther Vallone and Leanne Tromans.

Incredibly Win Hitchin, 93, and Pat Fielding, 81, were both born at the Lady Forester in Broseley when it was a maternity home.

Now, decades later, the pair are living out their later years there, in its latest incarnation as the Lady Forester Residential and Day Care Centre.

The home was placed into special measures in March this year, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission two months earlier.

After what the trustees are calling months of hard work and huge investments, inspectors returned and found improvements had been made.

One trustee, Hilary Fox, said receiving the news of the judgement earlier this year was "heartbreaking" for staff and residents at the home, which was days away from closure mere months ago.

She said: "We've been through a very rough period. Covid hit the home really hard and with the rising cost of gas and electricity, a lot of maintenance needed doing.

"It was a very sharp learning curve, but we all accepted it and we've all stepped up. None of our residents wanted to leave and they all stayed with us, which I think is a testament to how much they love it here.

"We're all still working very hard to make it work and to provide the best possible care for all of our wonderful residents."

Over the last year, Hilary said a new team of trustees have been brought in, dozens of new policies and procedures have been implemented and thousands of pounds spent on maintenance.

"The CQC is really pleased with the way we're going," she said.

"But we'll continue to put the work in to be back to being good, if not excellent."

Staff say the news that Win and Pat had been selected to switch on the lights at Saturday's event was the "icing on the cake" for the charity-run home, that was taken out of special measures last month.

"It's such a happy occasion. We're very proud to have been asked by the Broseley Lights Committee," Hilary said.

"And the ladies are both thrilled. I think the whole of Broseley really cares for the place."

The Broseley Christmas Lights Switch is set to take place on Saturday, November 25, with a day full of events, including fireworks and a funfair, running from 12pm.

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