Care home honours local hero at Christmas event

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (inset) turned the Christmas lights on at The Orchards care home in Ely

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (inset) turned the Christmas lights on at The Orchards care home in Ely during 'a December to remember' on December 8. - Credit: Katie Woodcock / The Orchards

A care home in Ely welcomed the community for the evening to honour a local hero at their Christmas lights switch-on event. 

Families and friends gathered at The Orchards in Forsythia Road on December 8 to enjoy the festivities, named by staff as ‘a December to remember’. 

The free celebrations included festive entertainment such as carol-singing, a hog roast with mulled wine and other delicious refreshments. 

The care home’s lights were switched on by Daisy Smith, who was put forward for the honour when The Orchards asked for nominations of people who had done wonderful work in the community, particularly during the pandemic. 

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (L) turned The Orchards' Christmas lights on during the event on December 8.

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (L) turned The Orchards' Christmas lights on during 'a December to remember' on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event.

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event. - Credit: The Orchards

Daisy was nominated by Sally Prior, who set up the group ‘Soham Handy Helpers’ during the first lockdown period. 

Sally praised Daisy as one of her most reliable volunteers. 

“The idea was that people who were isolating or vulnerable could ring us and we would do their shopping, get prescriptions and generally make sure no one was stranded,” said Sally. 

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“Daisy was 15 at the time and was my “go to” person as she did shopping and collected and delivered medication from Staploe. 

“She even walked the length of the town every day just to drop a paper in to an elderly man on his own – she was his only human contact for ages!” 

Sally added: “At a time when young people often get a bad press, I think the actions of Daisy and people like her needs to be recognised.” 

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event.

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event. - Credit: The Orchards

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event.

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event. - Credit: Katie Woodcock

Residents enjoyed an evening of festivities at The Orchards' 'December to remember' event on December 8.

Residents enjoyed an evening of festivities at The Orchards' 'December to remember' event on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards

Daisy was deemed a worthy winner by residents at The Orchards, who admired her commitment to the local community. 

The Orchards opened in November 2020, meaning residents were not able to get out into the community much due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

‘A December to remember’ bought together the care home with the community spirit that lives beside it. 

Kirsty Price, general manager at The Orchards, said: “It was fantastic that the families and local community could share this special time with our residents and staff at The Orchards. 

“With the last 18 months, a lot of people along with our residents were feeling isolated due to not being able to access or have the local community involved within the home.” 

She added: “It was lovely for everyone to come together and share this with us.” 

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event.

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event. - Credit: Katie Woodcock

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (L) turned The Orchards' Christmas lights on during 'a December to remember' on December 8.

Local Ely hero, Daisy Smith (L) turned The Orchards' Christmas lights on during 'a December to remember' on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8.

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8.

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event.

Family and friends gathered at The Orchards care home in Ely on December 8 for their 'December to remember' event. - Credit: Katie Woodcock

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8.

Visitors and residents enjoyed a hog roast with mulled wine at The Orchards' 'A December to remember' event on December 8. - Credit: The Orchards


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