When Danny heard his holiday with his dad had to be cancelled because of the pandemic, he decided to turn a negative into a positive. Dad Fred says: ‘I told Danny that we’d be unable to get away on holiday this year even though we’d saved up some money to do it. Danny said to me: “Why don’t you give the money to Livability to help New Court Place?”’
Danny lives at Livability New Court Place, a residential care home in Borehamwood. He usually sees his dad three times a week, when he comes to visit. Danny has cerebral palsy and very limited verbal communication but communicates clearly with his dad and people he knows well.
Fred (77), who describes his family as ‘not rich’, was delighted with Danny’s suggestion: ‘I thought that was such a great idea, so we made a one-off donation of £600. It was typical of Danny to suggest this – he’s such a kind, thoughtful person and feels things very deeply.’
The generous gift brought joy to everyone at New Court Place when residents chose to use the money to buy a large gazebo. This has enabled them to meet family members safely during lockdown. Shaz, who lives at New Court Place, says the gift was ‘absolutely fabulous’ and housemate Mich says the gazebo ‘gave us the freedom to see family and friends, which is great’. Everyone’s reaction brings ‘a big smile to Danny’s face, which says it all’, says manager Gladys Quinn.
Gladys adds: ‘The gift has made such a big difference to both residents and their families. To be able to see family face-to-face and spend time together has really lifted residents’ wellbeing because, during this pandemic, the residents have been in complete lockdown.’
Like many families with a disabled loved one, Fred and his wife have been very concerned about Danny’s health. ‘It’s a very worrying time for us all, especially when we are all unable to get together,’ says Fred. ‘Danny’s in the care home, I, because of my age and diabetes, am stuck at home and my wife works at Watford General Hospital, seven days a week, among the virus.’
The family has been hugely comforted by the knowledge that Danny is in safe hands at New Court Place, and reassured by regular video chats that staff set up for Danny and his family. Says Fred: ‘We’re very happy with the care workers, nurses and all at New Court Place for keeping Danny happy and smiling when we have our WhatsApp chats, especially for the staff who’ve arranged that and kept me informed about my son’s needs. Everyone at the care home deserves recognition, from the manager Gladys to the cleaners and chef, all of whom make New Court Place a very special place and help to keep the residents safe.’