Care Home residents share wartime experiences during museum visit

Residents enjoy a day to remember and reminisce on a visit to the Imperial War Museum

Residents at RMBI home, Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, in Braintree, have recently enjoyed a visit to the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

Keen to support their residents’ interests, encourage reminiscence and help them to get out and about, Activities Coordinator Sophie George and five staff members accompanied several residents in the Home’s minibus on the 40-mile journey to the museum.

During the visit, residents were able to go to three hangars that featured various aircrafts; there were even mechanics working on planes for future displays and residents were able to ask technical questions. Roy Cleaver, 92, served in the RAF and has a good knowledge about planes. He was particularly excited to look around the hangars and proudly wore his RAF hat all day.

Ron Thompson, aged 103, who was awarded several medals during World War II, was also eager to see the warplanes. He was most intrigued by the Battle of Britain hangar, which contained many British planes used during the war. This sparked conversation and memories amongst residents about their own experiences.

“It has been a smashing trip. I’m surprised I have never been here before, because it is wonderful; so big and looks grand,” said Bill Cullinan. Having seen all the planes during the day, Peter Cable decided he would love to come along to one of the museum’s air shows in future.

Sophie George, Activities Coordinator at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, said: “Our residents and staff had a fascinating time visiting the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Some of our residents have a real interest in planes and wartime events, and it was very special to hear about their knowledge and experiences. Trips like these really support our residents’ health and wellbeing, helping them to form new memories as well as recall old ones.”

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Company (RMBI) that runs Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, in Stisted, Essex, is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).

The RMBI provides residential care, nursing care and residential dementia support to older Freemasons, their families and people in the wider community. They have been caring for older people for over 180 years and today, they support over 1,000 residents across 17 care homes in England and Wales with a focus on wellbeing and quality outcomes.

They treat each person as an individual. They believe that everyone should be able to enjoy later life and they are there to help the residents stay as independent as possible. Above all, they live by their values – kind, supportive and trusted.

RMBI is part of the MCF – Funded entirely by Freemasons MCF builds better lives by encouraging opportunity, promoting independence, and improving wellbeing.

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Top: Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court care home residents and staff pose for a photo.

Left (L-R): Residents Roy Thompson, Marion Leonard and Bill Cullinan alongside Activities Coordinator Sophie George and staff member Alison Manning from Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court.

Right (L-R): Resident Roy Cleaver, who served in the RAF, admires the different planes alongside resident Bill Cullinan.