BY TOBY PORTER
A grandson is running a half-marathon on Sunday with his mum to thank a charity for the care it has provided his grandparents.
Will Annandale, from Eltham, and his mum Julia are raising money for Royal Star Garter, which provides compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with dementia.
Will’s grandfather lived at his Surbiton Home for the final nine months of his life.
The former major in the Durham Light Infantry and D-Day veteran passed away in 2017, but his wife, Joy, is now a resident at the same home.
Julia said it was a “miracle” watching her father “laugh again” during his time at Royal Star & Garter.
She is also grateful that her mother, who is living with dementia, is now benefiting from the same loving, person-centred care.
Donald was living with Parkinson’s disease when he moved into the home in Upper Brighton Road in July 2016.
He and his family had been traumatised by a respite care experience at another care home shortly before.
The family were desperate before he was assessed by Royal Star & Garter and relieved when he moved in soon after.
Julia said: “His time in Surbiton brought back joy and interest in his life. We never thought such a thing was possible.
It was a miracle to the whole family to see him smiling, playing skittles, going to lectures.
“It was an amazing last nine months. He started to laugh again and that was huge for us all.”
Joy moved into the home in May 2018. Julia said: “I know she feels safe.
She’s always telling me how kind everybody is, and it is real kindness and real friendship.
“She has never once been treated with anything but respect and professionalism.
She’s treated as the person she really is, and not the poor old lady who’s living with dementia.
“It’s enormously comforting to the family.
“Royal Star & Garter offers residents the chance to embrace life again.
“It’s amazing what they do.”
Royal Star & Garter is a charity providing care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia from homes in Surbiton, Solihull and High Wycombe.
To support Julia and Will, visit their fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WillAnnandale
For more information about life with Royal Star & Garter and eligibility, see https://starandgarter.org/our-homes-and-care/life-in-our-homes
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