This Saturday July 30th marks International Day of Friendships. The awareness day was created by the UN to promote ‘peace, happiness, and unity’. When it comes to residential care, those words may not always spring to mind – a common misconception is that people in care homes can end up leading a grey existence, with many worrying that their experience will be isolating and lonely. At Borough Care, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Borough Care’s motto is ‘Life in Colour’ and to celebrate International Day of Friendship, staff at our Reinbek care home in Davenport arranged a special Afternoon Tea for resident Lesley Hill (84) and best friend Anne Harvey (82) to celebrate their 60 years of friendship.
The two met on Ann’s first day at work at A.V Roe all the way back in the 1950s. One of the world’s first aircraft builders, A.V. Roe was established in 1910 at Brownsfield Mill on Great Ancoats Street, and its designs include the Avro 504, used as a trainer in the First World War. The ladies worked together at Woodford Aerodrome, a former airfield and aircraft factory at Woodford, Greater Manchester. Both in their early twenties at the time, Lesley was tasked with showing newcomer Ann the ropes, and the two have been the best of friends ever since.
They were known to frequent the local pub for a post-work drink, and after they both got married and had children they remained in contact despite the demands of life. When they eventually retired and received their free bus passes, the two would meet at 10am every Saturday morning at Stockport Bus Station and get on the first bus that appeared. Ann said, ‘we would end up in the likes of Bury, Hyde, Ashton and Denton – wherever the first bus was going!’ The ladies even lived three doors from each other in Stockport before Lesley came to live at the Borough Care home.
Ann said the secret to their lifelong friendship was ‘always being together’ while Lesley joked it was ‘never seeing each other!’ According to Ann, the pair were ‘never clingy – we just got on.’ When asked what her advice was for younger people when it came to making friends, Lesley said ‘Just be yourself – don’t ever try and be anything you’re not.’
Lesley said her favourite thing about Ann was that “One doesn’t trample over the other, we just get on well and agree on things. And I let her work with my husband – not all wives would do that!”
At Borough Care, we love hearing stories about our residents’ lives, so it was a pleasure to sit down with Lesley and Ann and hear about their friendship. Our whole approach is to encourage every resident to live the most fulfilled and valuable lives, and both developing and supporting friendships is a vital part of that.”