The corks were popping at a Sanctuary Care home in Hatfield when RT Hon Grant Shapps, Welwyn and Hatfield MP and Minister without Portfolio, joined residents there to celebrate their new arrival – a brand new minibus.
Mr Shapps visited Hatfield Residential and Nursing Home in Tamblin Way on Friday 24 October for a celebratory tea party to mark the arrival of the minibus, donated to the care home by the West Herts Charity Trust.
Hatfield tirelessly fundraised to contribute £7,000 towards the cost of the £60,000 vehicle. The vehicle has already been used to take residents out on day trips and will be used in the future for visits to garden centres, the seaside and to see Christmas lights. Mr Shapps launched the original appeal in 2012 and has supported the care home since with their new appeal.
On Friday Mr Shapps, the residents and their loved ones and Hatfield’s team enjoyed a traditional vintage-themed afternoon tea along with live music entertainment from Malcolm ‘The Piano Man’.
The home’s activities leader Alan Moody, who also took charge of the minibus fundraising appeal, said: “We’re really delighted that Mr Shapps joined us to celebrate the arrival of our minibus, given that he helped launch the original appeal in 2012.
“Our residents are thrilled with the new minibus – it really is going to make such a positive difference to their lives as we are now able to take groups of them on all sorts of daytrips without having to hire public transport. It will give us much more freedom and will be really lovely for our residents – we’re already planning lots of Christmas shopping trips!”
On the day residents Edna Errington and Winnie Wright, both aged 101, also presented hats they had knitted for Mr Shapps’ Wel Hats appeal. The appeal asks for those who can to knit hats to be sent to people living with a disability in Afghanistan, in association with local charity Herts Action and their sister charity in Kabul, Development and Ability Organisation.
The residents knitted tirelessly to have the hats ready for the MP’s visit, having enjoyed knitting for the appeal last year for troops in Afghanistan and receiving letters of thanks from the soldiers.
Edna, 101, who has met Mr Shapps on his visits to the home previously said: “I was delighted that he remembered me, so pleased. We had a really good chat all about the knitting I’ve been doing. It was lovely talking to him.”