Dewsbury care home celebrates Pride after being inspired by resident's story

Staff and residents at a care home in Dewsbury celebrated the LGBTQ+ community with their annual Pride Garden Party.

By Staff Reporter
Monday, 4th July 2022, 3:30 pm

Ashworth Grange, operated by Ideal Carehomes, held its first Pride event last year, inspired by one of the care home’s residents, Margaret Jones, who moved in back in 2018.

Soon after arriving, Margaret took part in the #ThisisMe project, introduced by Ideal Carehomes to allow staff to get to know the "real stories" behind each of their residents.

Lots of interesting conversations were sparked while reminiscing about their childhoods, working life, relationships, travel and holidays, significant life events and interests.

Staff and residents at Ashworth Grange care home in Dewsbury celebrated the LGBTQ+ community with their annual Pride Garden Party

One such conversation allowed Margaret to share the story about the love of her life; having married a man at the age of 24, Margaret found her one true love in a lady she met later in life in church.

Margaret said "I just knew that she was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I prayed that God would bring us together."

Finally free to talk about her greatest love, Margaret spent time chatting with the care staff and her friends in the home about the differences in the level of acceptance now, compared with when she was younger, and, having expressed how much she would love to go to a Pride event, lifestyle manager Colette Senior decided to bring Pride to her.

This year, the care home decorated the garden with rainbow bunting, dressed up in the brightest clothing they could find, and came together to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Residents and guests enjoyed a barbecue in the sun, cooked by Ashworth Grange’s kitchen team, followed by colourful cupcakes and drinks from the care home’s outdoor bar, the "Tipsy Bar".

For the first time in two years, it was party time, and local ukulele band The Pleasant Pluckers performed for the guests, encouraging staff and residents to get on their feet and dance.

Dominic Beresford, of the band, said: ‘The staff really know how to pull out all the stops at Ashworth Grange Care Home in Dewsbury.

"It’s been two years since we’ve played here after all the lockdowns and was such a pleasure to play outdoors in the sunshine for all the residents and staff at this wonderful care home.’

Margaret said she had been looking forward to the day all year.

"I enjoy seeing all the staff dress up, and it makes me proud that we can be who we are and still be accepted," she said.

"Ashworth Grange is full of lots of different kinds of people, but we really are one big family."

Margaret is now the star of Ideal Carehomes’ internal #ThisisMe training, and features in a short film which educates care team members across the country on the importance of understanding residents’ individually, and offering person-centred care.