The family of a care home resident led the last clap for carers event to pay an emotional tribute to him and his carers.
Former painter and decorator Tecwyn Hughes, 68, now lives at Pendine Park’s Penybryn Care Home after suffering a life-changing head and brain injury in a cycling accident while riding home four years ago.
His daughter Clare Hughes, 30, of Caia Park, a criminology student at Glyndwr University, says she and her family wanted to applaud the carers looking after her dad while also giving him a boost.
She was joined by other family members and Pendine Park staff for the five minute ovation and Tecwyn was brought out in a wheel chair to drink it all in at a safe social distance.
People up and down the UK first took to their doorsteps and windows on Thursday, March 26, clapping in honour of the key workers on the coronavirus frontline.
The response was overwhelming – applause could be heard across whole cities and towns and famous landmarks were lit up blue.
Initially planned as a one-off event, the public later decided to make it a weekly activity and had been showing their appreciation at 8pm every Thursday .
Claire said: “It was on July 25, 2016 that dad had his accident. He as just found by his bike with terrible injuries. We don’t know if he was hit by a car or what happened but they flew him to Stoke and now he’s in a wheelchair and is paralysed down one side.
“His life has totally changed. This was a man who ran the London Marathon in years gone by. He did it to raise money for cystic fibrosis, which I suffer from.
“I was diagnosed at three months and dad gave up work and became my carer. Since his accident, my mum is now my carer.”
Clare says the whole family wanted to go down to Pendine Park for the last Clap for Carers event as her dad’s carers have now become their extended family.
She said: “Nothing is too much trouble. They are so busy and pulled out dealing with keeping Covid-19 out yet they still take time for those extra little things. They gave dad a haircut and sent me pictures so I could see how handsome he looks. They are just angels, all of them.
“We took banner, balloons and a rainbow for the Pendine Park staff. We were able to go on the car park underneath his window and clap. My mum, Linda Hughes, my two brothers Carl and Lee, my mum’s sisters, nieces, nephews and dad’s four grandchildren, Lillie, Millie, Harvey and Charlie.
“The carers brought him outside so he could see us clapping and the children banging their saucepans and spoons, it really was emotional and a great way to pay tribute to the carers and to let dad know we miss him so much and will always love him.”
Penybryn manager Tracey Cuthill says the Hughes family have offered exceptional support to all Pendine Park staff during the Coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “Their kindness, thoughtfulness and empathy has been truly inspirational to all staff. They have never stopped giving support and we really do appreciate it.”
Cindy Clutton, manager of Pendine Park’s Hillbury Care Home, added that the 10-week series of Clap for Carers events had shone a spotlight on social care as well as the NHS.
She said: “Moving forward I hope this continues and care homes and key workers continue to get the support they deserve. We have had a great deal of support from the community and we are all so very grateful.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Pendine’s artist-in-residence Sarah Edwards who said: “I have seen first-hand the boost it gives care practitioners across all our homes.
“I think they always knew they were appreciated by families and relatives of the people we care for and the support we have had as a care organisation from the wider community, from schools to businesses, clubs to ordinary individuals has been amazing. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it.”