Finals place for reunion team

Organising a surprise reunion for a Newquay couple has led to staff at Cornwall Care’s Penberthy House in Newquay being selected as finalists in the CAHSC Care and Support Awards 2022.


Jean and David Hill are a devoted couple who have been married for 66 years. When Jean needed looking after, David became her main carer. When his dementia developed and he needed care himself, however, separation seemed inevitable, and he was moved to Penberthy.


Desperate to be with her husband, Jean asked if she could join him there. The Cornwall Care team readily agreed but, because Jean needed a period in isolation for Covid reasons, thought it would be best not to tell David until the couple could be properly reunited.


“They were all amazing at pulling together and keeping Jean’s secret,” said Penberthy manager Sue Aldridge, who submitted the award nomination. “The love and kindness they showed in making sure Jean and David could be together was fantastic and I’m really proud of what they managed to achieve and the huge happiness they helped bring about.”


With permission from Jean and family members, the reunion was videoed and, when uploaded to Cornwall Care’s social media platforms in January, got hundreds of thousands of views.


“After all the distress caused by the pandemic, seeing David’s absolute joy at seeing and being able to hug Jean at Penberthy was incredible,” said Sue. “I honestly don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.”


CAHSC is a membership charity that aims to further the development of the adult social care workforce in Devon and Cornwall. Its annual care and support awards recognise and celebrate hard work and dedication in the sector and, this year, will be held at Tregenna Castle, St Ives on Friday 8 April.

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