Carwyn Lloyd-Jones, an air cadet who recently started volunteering at welsh care home MHA Hafan y Waun as part of an ex-services project, has found a firm friend in resident Derek Bedford.
Carwyn, who has plans to become an engineer in the RAF, regularly visits the home to chat with Derek about his experiences in the Air Force during the Second World War.
The pair often discuss Derek’s experiences in the Fleet Air Arm, where he served on the aircraft carrier HMS Dasher on the west coast of Scotland. In 1943 HMS Dasher sank after an aircraft landed badly, igniting petrol which caused a horrific explosion. Derek was one of the few lucky survivors taken ashore at Brodick, on the Isle of Arran.
As part of his A-level studies, Carwyn coincidentally spent a week on the Isle of Arran and was taken to the memorial dedicated to those who died on the very same carrier. Whilst Carwyn was unable to take photos of the memorial, he took many of the island and was keen to show Derek on his return.
Nicky Herriot, volunteer coordinator at MHA’s Hafan y Waun, commented: “Being a volunteer coordinator can give you the chance to facilitate new friendships. Derek and Carwyn’s story though is a lovely example of how bringing people together from all corners of the community can create wonderful experiences for everyone involved.
“Here at MHA, we think it’s really important for residents and our local communities to learn from each other. It’s an honour to be a part of it”.