TV’s Valerie enjoys starring role at Dorset care home

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Valerie Singleton with residents Charles and Evelyn Swindell
Valerie Singleton with residents Charles and Evelyn Swindell

Valerie Singleton with resident Daphne Spurry at Abbey View Care Home, Sherborne, 190515

Television personality Valerie Singleton OBE is enjoying an unexpected new role by giving monthly talks at a Sherborne care home.

The former Blue Peter presenter is delighting residents at Colten Care’s Abbey View home with stories and films of her worldwide travels.

Valerie, 78, who also fronted Nationwide, The Money Programme and Tonight on BBC television, first became associated with the home through her father in 2007.

She said: “I had spent some days looking at a number of homes for dad, who was then 96, and this was the last one of the day. I walked in and thought ‘wow, this is like a hotel!’”

She soon moved her father down from London into ‘a lovely room’.  After he died in the summer of 2008, Valerie continued her link with the home by drawing raffles and attending special occasions. This has now expanded into her monthly talk.

Valerie said: “I have quite a good collection of travel pieces on DVD and I try to intersperse them with readings.

“I give an introduction about how it came about, sit back and wallow in memories, talk a little bit afterwards and then go and have a nice lunch with everyone.”

Abbey View activities organiser Becky Marsh said: “The residents at Abbey View look forward to Valerie’s visits and they are always well attended.

“She has read very interesting articles to them including some of her many foreign trips, and has recently shown her Blue Peter Assignments DVDs which have been thoroughly enjoyed.

“We feel very lucky to have Valerie’s continued support for Abbey View.”

Valerie, who lives in a farmhouse near Sherborne, added: “Abbey View is a wonderful home and I enjoy coming in to talk to the residents. I really love it here. The staff members are fantastic. They don’t often change and I consider them friends now.”

Valerie presented Blue Peter for more than a decade in the 1960s and 1970s.

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