Pauline Barry and Sheila Simpson are fellow residents at Stoke Mandeville nursing home, Fremantle Court, run by local care provider The Fremantle Trust. They shared a special moment on Tuesday 30th July to mark International Friendship Day.
In 2011 the 30th July was declared International Friendship Day by the General Assembly of United Nations. While the day is symbolic of global relations, it also recognises the importance of friendship at a grassroots level in local communities.
73-year-old Pauline moved into Fremantle Court three months ago. A naturally caring and sensitive person, Pauline soon became part of the community and struck up a friendship with Sheila after taking a special interest in getting involved in the Trust’s Bedside Buddies initiative.
Bedside Buddies supports residents who are unable to participate in activities in the main communal areas and involves 1-1 sessions devoted to reminiscence, storytelling and interactive sessions. Pauline enjoys spending time with Sheila and has enabled her to feel more involved in activities as a result of their friendship.
Pauline’s listening skills and her empathy and compassion were soon picked up on by the team at Fremantle Court, and she now supports new residents at the home by chatting to them and helping them to feel at ease.
Commenting on the special occasion, community and lifestyle manager at the Trust, Sue Faulkner, said: “Pauline and Sheila have a really special bond and enjoy spending quality time together chatting and sharing stories. It is wonderful to see that the Bedside Buddies initiative has come full circle and now residents are volunteering their time to help others.
“We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate this on International Friendship Day as relationships are so important as the foundation of our thriving community here at Fremantle Court.”
Sheila added: “I was more than happy to present Pauline with a thank you gift as she truly deserves it.”