Care home footy fans go centre-forward for VIP birthday trip to Boro

David Fuller and Joe Swindon at the Riverside Stadium
-Credit: (Image: Orchard Care Homes)

Two football-mad care home residents at were treated to a dream visit to their favourite team Middlesbrough Football Club for an incredible VIP birthday tour.

The pair, David Fuller and Joe Swindon, were taken to the Riverside Stadium this week, home of 'the Boro'! David will be 92 years old on May 26 this year, while Joe will be 95 years old on May 24.

The pair travelled from Green Lodge Care Home, based in Billingham, which is part of the Orchard Care Homes group which operates 23 homes across the north and Midlands. The group specialises in care for those living with dementia; each home making great efforts to devise events and activities geared around their residents' hobbies and interests to evoke warm memories from their pasts.

The visit to the Riverside Stadium fits in with Orchard's Dementia Promise, which aims to remove the stigma associated with dementia and encourage a positive approach to dementia care and enrichment by promoting individual choice and inclusion.

This week's visit came about through the MFC Foundation, which offers anyone living with dementia, special assistance to enjoy visiting the stadium while feeling safe and comfortable at the same time. The foundation heard David and Joe were celebrating their birthday this month and offered the pair a special invitation to the Riverside Stadium.

David Fuller and Joe Swindon at the Riverside Stadium
David Fuller and Joe Swindon at the Riverside Stadium -Credit:Orchard Care Homes
David Fuller and Joe Swindon at the Riverside Stadium
David Fuller and Joe Swindon at the Riverside Stadium -Credit:Orchard Care Homes

Both gents have been huge club supporters since their youth, going back to the 50's and 60's. David said: "It was a great day out and I will cherish it forever. I hope to score a goal next time I visit!"

He says his favourite part of the tour was sitting in the club manager's chair and seeing the pitch. Added Joe: "It was a good day seeing how the other half live and I really enjoyed seeing the photographs of all the players and getting to try on the t-shirt of the team captain."

Green Lodge is based on The Green in Billingham and all rooms feature en-suite bedrooms. It offers residential dementia care and short-term respite care; it also has an early-onset dementia unit which offers specialist support for younger people living with the condition.

It holds a good rating from the Care Quality Commission. Last year Orchard Care Homes was named winner of the LaingBuisson Award for

Excellence in Large Residential Care. It has also achieved a 5-star food rating at every home across its portfolio. For more information on Orchard Care Homes please call 01423 859859.

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