Former Denbigh care home staff to celebrate 50 years of Dolwen

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A DENBIGH businessman is urging local people to help celebrate a care home’s half a century of “brilliant service to the community”.

Mark Young, owner of Denbigh Chocolate Shop, has organised a special party to commemorate Dolwen Care Home’s 50th birthday, after his own father was recently admitted.

He has been so impressed with the standard of care that octogenarian Colin has had that he is hoping local people will join him on Sunday, May 29, to give thanks to the dedicated team at Dolwen, and enjoy a celebratory afternoon tea at his shop on Vale Street.

Mark, aged 48, said: “We want as many local people, staff members past and present along with families with Dolwen connections over the years to come along and help us celebrate.

“It will give them a chance to meet up with old friends and reminisce as well as acknowledge the massive part that Dolwen plays in this community.

“If you can try to imagine how many people there are whose lives have been touched by the place then you realise that words cannot really express how well thought of it is round here and it wouldn’t be like that without the incredible staff, both past and present.

“I don’t suppose there are even any other homes that are still going after 50 years let alone that are so well loved. Everyone I have approached about the party to ask for help or just to invite has said yes without hesitation.”

Mark, who worked as a joiner before changing career and opening the shop in order to spend more time with his family, first became aware of the care industry when he launched his new business seven years ago.

He has invited Mario Kreft MBE, well known in Denbigh as chairman of Care Forum Wales, to perform the official ribbon-cutting at the celebration.

The pair became friends and Mark has joined Mario at the annual Wales Care Awards, run by CFW, several times since.

He said: “When you attend an event like that you see how hard the staff in the care industry work and the levels of dedication and commitment to what is often a very difficult and underrated job.

“But then when you experience it first hand through a parent it is a real shock. That’s when you realise that these people get up and do this incredibly hard work every day with smiles on their faces and the difference they have made to my father is amazing.

“He was not in a good way before Christmas but now he has massively improved and my family cannot say thank you enough to the team at Dolwen who have given both him and us so much support.

“They certainly deserve our recognition and a celebration in their honour as mine won’t be the only story like this – we need to thank them as a community for the brilliant facility that we have in Dolwen Care Home.”

The bread and the cakes for the event are being supplied by Denbigh-based bakery Henllan Bread.

Dolwen itself is holding an afternoon tea on June 1 for residents, their families and staff members old and new but Mark was keen to widen the celebration to include the community that the home serves.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Chocolate Shop event, but he needs to know numbers so those interested should contact Mark, and he is particularly keen to hear from former employees of the Denbighshire County Council run home.

Ann Davies, vice chairman of Denbighshire County Council will be attending on the day, and Mario will officially open the tea party event at 12 noon.

He says that the enduring success of Dolwen over 50 years is something every member of staff should be proud of.

Mario said: “Half a century of providing respectful and responsible care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society is quite an achievement and every member of staff that has played a part in that proud history deserves recognition.

“I hope many of them will join us for the celebration and together we can toast the success of Dolwen, its residents and its staff while looking forward to next 50 years of excellent care in Denbigh.”

Members of Dolwen Care Home staff or anyone else who wishes to attend the afternoon tea, on Sunday, May 29, should contact Mark on 01745 814864 as can anyone else who wishes to help with the event in any way.