Springdene Newsletter February 25 2023

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Springdene Newsletter February 25 2023

FOR ALL of us at Springdene – as you can imagine – springtime is our favourite season of the year.  Even though it’s only February, the first shoots are pushing though the ground in the gardens of our homes.  The snowdrops are already up and soon we will be surrounded by hosts of daffodils, our signature bloom.

But amid this riot of joy, we have some sad news to bring you.  Our oldest resident, Gladys Gathergood (pictured above), has passed away at the heroic age of 109.  She died peacefully at Springview just a few weeks short of her 110th birthday which she shared with the late Queen Elizabeth.  She was one of the 50 oldest people in Britain.

We all loved Gladys, who was the life and soul of Springview.  Even though in later years she was nearly blind, she made up for it with her indomitable life force – never short of a smile and an opinion, and an inspiration to her fellow residents.

Born in 1913, in Stratford, she was a true east-Londoner.  Her father worked for the old Great Eastern Railway in Stratford works as did many of her family.  As was the case with many of her generation, Gladys left school at 14.  But that didn’t hold her back – she went to night school to learn to become a secretary, a career she pursued for the rest of her working life.

Gladys was proud of her family and, although her husband has passed on, one of her daughters is now in her eighties.  Gladys was at Springview for eight years, and her longevity may fairly be attributed to the excellent care she received and her own indomitable life force.

Over the years, many asked what it was that sustained Gladys in her long life.  One thing that certainly kept her going was her faith. She was a life-long follower of the Baptist church and a member of the Salvation Army.  When folk interviewed her, she said that it was important to lead a good life – which she had tried to do for all her days, and certainly succeeded.

The members of the local Salvation Army in Enfield rewarded her with regular visits, and there was a wonderful moment at our Christmas party two years ago when she played the trumpet with the Sally Army brass band.  We don’t have a date for her funeral yet.  But from all of us at Springview in the meantime, we sincerely hope, Gladys, that you will rest in peace.

One project that Gladys would have enjoyed is currently exciting folk at Springview in the form of a Hollywood film company that is coming to make a movie in our home.  Titled “Queen at Sea”, it stars the Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and is directed by the former Batman director Lance Hammer.

The filming takes place in April and your loved ones may be invited to perform as extras.  Although there may be some inconvenience it will all be very stimulating for everyone, but don’t worry, permissions will be sought from the residents and royalties will go to our sponsored charity Medical Detection Dogs.

We are also being honoured with visits from our local MPs.  On Friday, Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, came to Spring Lane, where she was welcomed by manager Lori Vela.  Next week Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southgate, is coming to Springview. Shortly after Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, will be visiting Spring Grove.

Meanwhile, there has been a cornucopia of activities in the homes, led by our wellbeing and engagement teams.  There were special celebrations for New Year, Burns Night (including tartan weaving), St Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year and Pancake Day in which residents had a hearty good time.  Already preparations are being made for Easter entertainments.

If you are enjoying the sound of all this, then maybe you would like to recommend a fantastic free offer we are running for new applicants to the homes.  If folk sign up for long-term care, then they get one week of care and accommodation entirely free.  Details are on our website at springdene.co.uk as well as in advertisements in the local press – the Camden New Journal, the Ham and High, the Barnet Times and Enfield Independent.

Have a good run-up to Easter and Pesach. And please put the word around about us.

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