Gladys finds a cool way to thank care home’s Coronavirus warriors

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A MUCH-loved resident celebrated her 91st birthday by finding a cool way to cone-gratulate a care home’s ‘Coronavirus warriors’.

Gladys Cross is a long-term and popular member of Pendine Park’s Highfield nursing home in Wrexham.

Movingly described as “part of the family” at Highfield by staff, the great-grandmother wanted to repay the home’s team for all their hard work – including their tireless efforts during the pandemic.

Staff members were delighted to hear the ever-magical sound of an ice cream van’s chimes playing as it pulled in outside the home.

Every Highfield employee on duty at the time was treated to a free ice cream, thanks to the generous gesture by Gladys.

Asked why she wanted to treat the team, the former school cook said: “I want to thank everyone. They are very good.

“I like being here. I like the staff.”

Originally from Bradley, Gladys has spent been a resident at Highfield for several years.

She has regularly enjoyed visits at the home from family members, including son Ian and daughter Diane.

Last year Highfield helped to mark Gladys’ landmark 90th birthday during lockdown.

Pendine Park, which operates eight care homes in Wrexham and Caernarfon, regularly holds special events and activities for residents to enjoy.

During her time at Highfield, Gladys has frequently participated in activities such as art sessions.

She has built a close bond with enrichment and activities co-ordinator Christine Lewis.

“Gladys is a very popular resident at Highfield,” said Christine.

“This was a very nice gesture by her. It helps make the staff feel appreciated and it has given them a boost.

“The pandemic has been a long haul. Whenever we receive gifts from anyone it is greatly appreciated and shows people are thinking about the team here.

“We are very grateful to Gladys for treating everybody to an ice cream.”

Affectionately referred to as ‘Coronavirus warriors’, staff at Pendine Park’s homes have regularly received praise from management, residents and their relatives for their relentless work throughout the pandemic.

They were able to take a short break from their regular duties to receive an ice cream, amid a buoyant atmosphere outside the home.

Maria Medina, a carer at Highfield, expressed her gratitude to Gladys as she relished tucking into a vanilla ice cream.

“I think this is a very good idea. We we would like to thank Gladys for what she has done,” she said.

“Gladys is a lovely lady. She is somebody that we enjoy looking after.”

Another staff member savouring the sweet taste of an ice cream was care support worker Sarah Lawson.

“It certainly makes a nice change to get an ice cream during work,” said Sarah.

“I am very appreciative. This was a very kind thing to do.

“Gladys is really lovely. She is a part of the family here and we are all fond of her.”

The ice creams were brought to Highfield by Mr Tee’s.

Madeeha Imran, secretary with the family-run ice cream firm, helped serve staff

She said: “We are pleased to have been invited to provide ice creams at Highfield.

“We have great appreciation for all the work for the staff from the home have been doing. They have been through a lot.

“It is nice for us to be involved in positive things that are happening in the Wrexham community.”

Highfield manager Tracey Smith said: “This was a delightful and very kind gesture from Gladys who is a lovely lady for whom we are privileged to provide care.

“The ice creams were greatly appreciated by the team especially as the weather was so warm. It cooled everybody down nicely.”