Celebrating 50 years of care at Dolwen in Denbigh

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The 50th anniversary of a care home in Denbigh was celebrated in style.

Staff and relatives of residents from Dolwen enjoyed afternoon tea at Denbigh Chocolate Shop.

The special celebration was organised by Chocolate Shop owners Mark Young and his wife Mary to mark half a century of care at the heart of the community.

Mark has been particularly impressed by the standard of care at the home since his father, Colin, who is in his 80s, became a resident there.

The event was officially opened by Mario Kreft MBE, the chair of Care Forum Wales, who lives in Denbigh.

Mark said: “The care home is a big part of the community and it seemed only right to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a big birthday cake and some afternoon tea.

“The bread and cakes for the birthday event were supplied by Denbigh bakery Henllan Bread.

“It’s a care home that is really loved by so many in the community and much of that is down to the incredible staff who work there.

“The fact that many of them have been there for 10, 20 years or more tells you something about the place and how it is at the heart of the Denbigh community.”

Mario, who was there with his wife, Gill, said: “The fact that Dolwen care Home has been serving the community for 50 years is a wonderful achievement.

“Mark and Mary here at the Chocolate Shop deserve a pat on the back for organising this wonderful celebration.

“It’s been lovely meeting some of the staff who work at Dolwen and wish them every success in the hope they can continue serving the people of Denbigh for many years to come.”

There too was Denbighshire councillor, Raymond Bartley, who represents the Denbigh Lower Ward, who remembers Dolwen opening in 1966.

Raymond, who worked for 40 years at Denbigh Hospital before retiring as a senior nurse, said: “I was a founder member of Dolwen care Home’s League of Friends.

“We raised money to buy furniture and other equipment and over the years the League has raised a huge amount of money to benefit the home’s residents.

“Dolwen has provided excellent care over many years thanks to a dedicated team both past and present. It has played a big part in the community of Denbigh. I know as I was born in Denbigh and have worked and lived in the town all my life.”

He added: “I would like to see Dolwen become a residential care home for elderly people with mental health issues such as dementia. It needs to be for both day and residential care.

“There are currently only three homes providing care for people with dementia in the whole of Denbighshire.

“It’s been wonderful seeing so many members of staff, past and present, and members of families that have a connection to the home here sharing memories over sandwiches, cakes and tea.”

Amanda Lewis, the current manager of Dolwen Care Home enjoyed the party along with a number of members of staff.

She said: “It’s been a lovely event and it’s really nice to celebrate 50 years and for staff to be appreciated.”

Care assistants Davina Parry-Jones, who has worked at Dolwen for a decade and Olwen Jones, who has worked at Dolwen for 24 years, say the party at the Chocolate Shop was a wonderful idea.

Olwen said: “Staff tend not to leave and many have been there for a lot of years. My grandchildren will visit me with y daughter when I’m at work and they enjoy talking to residents as much as residents like seeing them visit.

“Dolwen plays a big role in the community. It’s fantastic to see celebrate such a well-loved facility with the community.”

Davina, who also works as an activities co-ordinator, added: “Residents love seeing children and we have schools that come in at Christmas and other times to sing for residents.

“I think it’s wonderful to celebrate 50 years in such a positive way. Dolwen has always been such an important care home as far as the Denbigh community is concerned.”

Carol Jones, who works at Dolwen as a domestic helper, said: “It’s been a lovely afternoon and it’s nice to see how Dolwen Care Home is appreciated within the community.”

Care assistant Dennis Williams, who has worked at Dolwen Care Home for nine years, said: “It’s such a great place and we see people who attend the day centre and then move into residential care.

“Dolwen has such a special place in the community and is so well thought of by so many Denbigh people. It’s really nice to have a celebration of the 50 years since Dolwen first opened here at the Chocolate Shop.

“It shows how much the home is appreciated by the people of Denbigh. It’s been great meeting so many Denbigh people at this celebration.”

Sisters Frances Jones and Barbara Roberts attended the event as their mother had attended Dolwen care Home as a day patient.

Barbara said: “Our mum had respite and day care at Dolwen. She passed away in 2001. She always enjoyed going to Dolwen.

“It wasn’t just a case of going there and sitting there was always something going on and she got to do things that helped her.”

Frances Jones added: “Dolwen Care Home played a big role in her life and in ours as well. It’s been lovely to come along and celebrate its 50th anniversary here at the Chocolate Shop.”