Steam-work makes the dream work as care home grants residents nostalgic wish

Communities / Sun 1st Oct 2023 at 09:53am

A GREEN fingered resident who lives at a Waltham Abbey care home is continuing his 50 year love of gardening after the home provided him with a new greenhouse.

Ashbrook Court resident William Cooper’s love of gardening took root aged 14 just after the Second World War when his teachers provided him and his fellow students with small plots of land to tend.

Little did they know that this simple act would sow the seeds of a lifelong passion for gardening that would flourish for decades to come.

“Gardening has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember and to now have this greenhouse is a dream come true for me,” said the 91-year-old.

“It means that I can continue doing what I love right here at Ashbrook Court and share the produce with my friends at the home.

“Gardening keeps me connected to nature and gives me a sense of purpose. I am immensely grateful to the team for helping me to carry on gardening.

“I’m really looking forward to planning everything out and what I’m going to grow in the new season next year as well as sharing my love of gardening with other residents.”

Starting on his allotment with simple salad staples like lettuce and beetroot, he soon branched out into cultivating a variety of seasonal produce with his speciality being growing pumpkins.

Now this greenhouse will allow William to continue to engage with his passion for gardening with the produce being enjoyed by the other residents at the 70 bed home on Sewardstone Road which offers a range of nursing and dementia care.

The home have provided William with a journal to map out his journey and his plans are already well underway with other residents looking forward to getting involved.

Care home manager Jonathane Ribeiro added: “William has always found so much joy and fulfilment in nurturing his allotment and watching things come to life.

“We are thrilled that he can continue to grow fresh vegetables here at Ashbrook Court for everyone to enjoy.

“We are always looking to create an environment that nurtures the passions of our residents and we strongly believe that moving into a care home does not mean you have to stop doing the things you love.

“It is wonderful to see the joy William takes from gardening and we can’t wait to learn from all the years of experience he has and sample the fruits of his labour.”

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