Blooming great gift for centre

A VITAL facility that helps sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is looking blooming lovely after it won a colourful prize in a competition.

The Hartlepool-based Gretton Court Nursing Home and Day Centre, in Heather Grove, was picked as a worthy winner of a competition run by Easington Village-based garden centre Plants ‘R’ Ross.

Owner Ross Weightman appeared in the Hartlepool Mail last month appealing for people to nominate two worthy causes that each deserved to win £500 of trees, shrubs and bedding plants which he had left over due to the awful weather conditions.

Sandra Tucker, whose mother-in-law Sheila Tucker, 82, has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia for some 10 years, nominated Gretton Court, where Sheila attends the day centre.

Sandra, 49, who lives with husband Kevin, 51, in Owton Manor Lane, said: “Sheila has been attending Gretton Court for about three years and it’s great for us as a family to know she goes to a place that takes absolutely fantastic care of her, where you feel the staff look after the people you love and care for them just as you would yourself.

“I read the article in the Mail and thought of Gretton Court and nobody else.

“Dementia and Alzheimer’s is horrendous, but the staff truly dedicate their time to these people.

“I thought if this is going to be something for free and the centre users can sit out in the summer with a cup of tea or juice and talk about the plants, it’s just something to make the outside as bright as it is inside the centre.”

Grandmother-of-four and great-grandmother-of-four Sheila lives in Owton Manor Lane with her daughter and carer Diane Tucker, 45, and is also mum to Michael Tucker, 58.

Mum-of-two Sandra added: “It’s a wonderful place and I’m absolutely over the moon to have won.

“Come the summer when these plants have come out, the colour and the smell will be a Godsend for these people and the carers.

“I’m over the moon that someone like Plants ‘R’ Ross thought of this idea and put it in the paper.”

Day centre manager Lee Jennings said: “On behalf of the day centre I would like to say a massive thank you to Sandra Tucker for nominating us, and Ross for providing the plants.

“It looks quite nice out there now and has saved us some money to plough into other resources.”

Ross added: “We had around 25 nominations in the competition. Gretton Court is absolutely phenomenal, when you go there it makes you appreciate how lucky you are.

“They are a very worthwhile cause. We want as many flowers in there to brighten up the day for residents and users.”

The other winning worthy cause was Grace House Hospice, in Sunderland.