Whiteley celebrates VE Day in style

9th May 2020

Lockdown had no chance of dampening spirits at Whiteley Village on the VE Day Bank Holiday – especially in all that fabulous hot sunny weather! So, although the residents’ long-planned street parties had to be cancelled, they still found a way of celebrating in style in their gardens.

Hundreds of residents decorated their cottages, windows and balconies turning Whiteley Village a very patriotic red, white and blue. One of our villagers – Rita Merryman also celebrated her 93rd birthday on Friday, making her 18 years old on VE Day – what an incredible double celebration! (See her photo here with Terry Cracknell one of our Support Workers and Rachel Hill our CEO.)

As an extra treat, the Caring Foundation donated to our charity 450 meals and cream teas, and Daniel Hulme, CEO from On Air Dining gave us 500 decorated cakes. Special thanks to the staff and volunteers who came in on the Bank Holiday to help pack up the food into bags and hand deliver them to every resident.

One villager, Pauline Simpson summed up the response of many residents to the wonderful donation: “Wow!! How about this? We all know and appreciate how fortunate we are to live in such beautiful surroundings with amazing support at this particular time in history, namely the Coronavirus and VE Day – but this generosity ‘blows one’s mind!’ Thank you Whiteley Village, for being there for us at this time in history – and this time in our lives.”

Whiteley Homes Trust CEO, Rachel Hill said, “We are hugely grateful to the Caring Foundation and On Air Dining for their extraordinary generosity and to the fantastic team of volunteers and staff who worked so hard to prepare and deliver the 450 meal bags. It was a mammoth task, but residents clearly appreciated it! The Village looked spectacular – and despite the challenges of social distancing, it was a truly special day.”

Pauline went on to say: “I was six on VE Day in 1945. My father was stationed in Weymouth and I well remember the street party – it was a long street and everyone contributed. We were so excited to have jam sandwiches and homemade rock cakes, bearing in mind the rationing – the atmosphere was amazing. D–Day evokes so many vivid memories – hard to believe I was only six, where did it all go?!

“We celebrated this VE Day in our garden with the flags donated by the Royal British Legion and our delicious shepherd’s pie – plus a glass of wine of course and precious memories! Thank you to everyone involved in making it such a lovely day under such difficult circumstances.”

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