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D-Day Fern Brook
The Gillingham community, including mayor Roger Weeks,  gathered at Fern Brook Lodge care home to honour the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The Gillingham community gathered together at a care home to support the residents to honour the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Residents at Fern Brook Lodge congregated at the care home’s The Brook community space for a special service led by Rev Angus Mayhew of St Mary’s Church in Gillingham to honour those who lost their lives on D-Day. The Last Post was played on the cornet by Taylor Crowther, senior care assistant at Fern Brook Lodge, to signal a two-minute silence, followed by tributes and a poem from the mayor of Gillingham, Councillor Roger Weeks, and Claire Davies, deputy home manager.

Afterwards, Annie Kings, a Dementia Champion at Dementia Friendly Gillingham, led a number of hymns, as well as songs from the era including Bring Back My Bonnie to Me, and We’ll Meet Again by Dame Vera Lynne.

Later in the day, the residents enjoyed fish and chips for lunch, followed by live music and entertainment at a garden party in the sunshine with afternoon tea served by the care home team who were dressed in 1940s-style clothing.

Rosemary, who lives at Fern Brook Lodge, said: ‘I loved the day. The songs were thoroughly enjoyable and brought back lots of memories for me.’

Deb Wiltshire, home manager, said: ‘The residents in our care were pleased to welcome some of the Gillingham community into the care home to pay their respects on the 80 anniversary of D-Day. It was a very touching and emotional day for the residents, many of whom have links to the military as veterans, military wives, or as relatives of those who served in the forces. At Care South, we like to honour these special occasions and anniversaries with time to reflect as well as opportunities to lift the residents’ spirits with music and a singalong.’

Fern Brook Lodge, which is run by the not-for-profit charity Care South, provides specialist residential, respite, and dementia care. The care home features a range of communal lounges overlooking a landscaped garden for residents to enjoy, with The Brook serving as an additional communal area for the residents to host activities and events. Fern Brook Lodge has a dedicated activities team who organise a daily programme of events to bring residents together to socialise and build friendships.

Fern-Brook-Lodge D-Day
Residents and staff enjoyed a singalong during the service at Fern Brook Lodge for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.
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