Gracewell of Church Crookham Takes Resident On Trip Down Memory Lane

Team members at Gracewell of Church Crookham care home have taken one resident on a heart-warming bus trip down memory lane.

On 13th July, 99-year-old William Brade headed out on a nostalgic journey, accompanied by several team members and his daughter, Lesley Brade.

This ‘Memory Lane’ trip was the first of its kind following the easing of restrictions and seeks to provide a personalised experience for residence at Gracewell Healthcare.

Their journey initially took them to William’s old house. This was a great opportunity to reminisce on a lifetime worth of memories, a place he had called home since 1967 and had only left 18 months ago.

And, despite some early nerves, as soon as he arrived, these soon diminished.

This first visit was capped off when he was greeted by his former neighbour, Paul. Both were thrilled to see one another, with Paul adding that, “I am glad he is in good caring hands. He’s a wonderful gentleman and I miss him tremendously. It was a joy to chat again.”

Their next stop took them a short trip down the road to his local shop. Here William reflected on the countless visits he had taken there, including picking up his daily newspaper.

The subsequent location on their journey down memory lane was a visit to his doctor’s surgery. Over many years William had established a strong relationship with his doctor, often taking print outs of medical data for him on his appointments, and thought it was only right to pay him another visit.

After a brief journey through Fleet high-street, which took them past several more notable locations, William arrived at one of his most cherished and memorable spots, Farnborough Tech College.

For over 40-years William lectured at the college, only retiring from his position 11 years ago, at the age of 88.

And, finally, their bus journey concluded with a stop at one of William’s favourite pubs in the local area. At this point they spent some time reflecting upon what had been a fantastic day and one that had evoked so many memories.

What had begun as a planned visit to William’s former home had evolved into a sentimental journey to numerous places he loves and knows so well.

Speaking of the journey, Lesley Brade, William’s daughter, said:

“This trip was pure gold for my dad. At 99 he has been wonderfully cared for by Gracewell of Church Crookham since April 2020. He has not been out since then due to the pandemic. This was a wonderful trip down memory lane and Dad was able to see his old home and even catch up with a longstanding neighbour. Seeing lots of his old spots evoked many, many happy memories for William, and he didn’t stop talking. This is just what he needed to prove he hasn’t been forgotten. A truly treasured memory for me and one that will always be with me.”

Debbie Drummond, Activities Coordinator at Gracewell of Church Crookham added:

“It was astonishing to witness the transformation in him and his ability to recall so much detail about his life. I made a collage of the photos for William to put on his wall and when I gave it to him the next morning he was just as animated and happy when he was telling his carers all about his day!”

Gracewell of Church Crookham are now looking forward to running further ‘Memory Lane’ trips for other residents in the near future.