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COMMUNITY: SBitC surprise Charnwood House Dementia Care Home residents ahead of FA Cup Semi-Final

17 April 2024


COMMUNITY: SBitC surprise Charnwood House Dementia Care Home residents ahead of FA Cup Semi-Final

17 April 2024

In a heartwarming display of community spirit, the Sky Blues in the Community (SBitC) team, paid a surprise visit to the residents of Charnwood House Dementia Care Home this week, ahead of the much-anticipated Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final against Manchester United FC.

With excitement building for Sunday's match, David Busst, Head of Community at SBitC, and John Szyndler, Mental Health and Well-being Manager who also leads SBitC’s Dementia Active project, brought gifts and a special four-legged friend to the home's dedicated Coventry City supporters.

The visit, timed to coincide with FA Cup week, turned into a celebration as residents were presented with Coventry City football shirts, scarves and flags to decorate the care home in sky blue. The star of the show was undoubtedly Winnie, the beloved therapy dog whose presence was specially requested by the residents.

Norma, one of the residents at Charnwood House commented: "It was such a lovely surprise to see everyone from Sky Blues in the Community, and meeting Winnie was the cherry on top."

A huge fan of Elvis Presley, Norma also shared a touching moment with our Head of Community and former Coventry City player David Busst, as they sang ‘Can't Help Falling in Love’ together.

The presence of SBitC not only provided a day of joy and excitement for the residents but also highlighted the importance of the Club's commitment to mental health and well-being. John Szyndler, who oversees SBitC’s Dementia Active project, emphasised that initiatives like these are crucial for engagement and emotional support within the community.

David Busst shared the sentiment, saying: "Football has the power to bring people together and we saw that today. It was great to see all the residents and have a chat about football and listen to some of their own stories and interests. We're thrilled to be able to contribute to their happiness during the FA Cup week."

The care home is now draped in a sea of sky blue, with residents eagerly awaiting Sunday's game, where they will be waving their CCFC flags and scarves, hoping to witness a historic victory.

The staff at Charnwood House expressed their gratitude for the visit, noting that such events significantly enhance the well-being of their residents.

Melanie Goolding, a volunteer at Charnwood House with a relative who resides there commented: “The Sky Blues team came today and brought the residents Coventry City FC football shirts, scarfs and flags for when they watch the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, which was lovely.  Their therapy dog Winnie was very well behaved, and I watched on as one lady, who was unable to get out of bed today, was stroking Winnie and chatting with John.  I could see the enjoyment this visit brought to her and others.”

The Sky Blues in the Community's visit to Charnwood House is a testament to the positive impact football clubs and their community arms can have beyond the pitch, fostering a sense of belonging and joy even amidst the challenges of dementia.

For more information on Sky Blues in the Community and their initiatives, please email or alternatively you can call their office on 02476 786 349.

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