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This week we celebrated a very special afternoon at Pinetree Lodge, one of our dementia nursing homes.

For the first time in many months, the families and loved ones of our residents were able to gather together, after the Pinetree team invited them all to a garden party in celebration of Carers Week.

Pinetree’s garden is newly renovated, after a group of colleagues from our head office volunteered to spend a day giving it a makeover. Newly planted, de-weeded, and freshly painted – the garden was a calm and beautiful space to host the special event.

We were delighted that the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Dot Burnett, joined us for the celebration. Dot’s sister is a resident of Pinetree Lodge, and the garden party marked the first time in several months that they had seen each other.

The team at Pinetree have worked tirelessly and compassionately throughout the pandemic, keeping the residents safe and supporting family members while Covid restrictions limited visits.

The family members and carers were treated to afternoon tea, and Dot made a speech to thank the team and the volunteers for transforming the garden.

In her speech, Dot commented:

“I want to say a personal thank you – not just from me, but from Gateshead Council. We know that we’ve got some amazing people working in this facility, the caring that you give is second to none. I want to say a personal thank you, because my sister is one of your residents. My family is so grateful, because it’s such a special thing to know that your loved ones are being cared for properly, because it’s a big worry when they’re not with you. It’s really comforting to know they’re here and they’re being looked after.”

Dot chose Mental Health Concern as one of her charities to support during her time as Mayor of Gateshead, as a reflection of her respect and gratitude to the team at Pinetree Lodge. It was a pleasure for so many of our team to be able to meet her at the garden party, so she could thank them in person.

We look forward to welcoming Dot back to Pinetree Lodge in the future, and we are very grateful to be one of her chosen charities.

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