The centenary of the First World War has been commemorated during an afternoon event at Reayrt ny Baie Resource Centre for older people, in Douglas.
Residents, their families and invited guests enjoyed an afternoon of reminiscence featuring a talk, which explored how the Isle of Man endured the ordeal of the First World War, given by Matthew Richardson, Curator for Social History with Manx National Heritage and author of ‘This Terrible Ordeal’.
David Quirk MHK, Member for the Department of Health and Social Care with responsibility for Adult Services, said:
'The staff have organised a fitting commemoration for the residents to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War. Sharing memories like this helps to encourage a family atmosphere at the centre, building the confidence and self-esteem of the residents. The commitment of staff to providing a range of activities, events and trips for the residents and their families enhances the quality of life for everyone involved.'
Representatives from SSAFA, a charity committed to the lifelong support to anyone who is serving or has ever served in the British Forces and their families, chatted with residents about the support available to Forces members and their families, about serving in the Forces and memories of wartime. Terry Smith, a representative from SSAFA, lead the residents and guests in a moment of reflection by reading the famous ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem, which was written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.
Linda Johnstone, Community Social Work Team, said:
'The Department’s resource centres, like Reayrt ny Baie, provide accommodation and respite care with a range of facilities designed to meet the needs of older people.'
'The care given to residents is supported by the Community Social Work Team. Our aim is to help older people live in their own homes as independently as possible for as long as possible. We offer support, advice and guidance to older people both at home, and in hospital by providing assessments of individual needs.'
A buffet followed by themed musical entertainment, with a sing-a-long, brought the event to a close. Fundraising from a cake stall will be divided between the Residents’ Comfort Fund and the SSAFA.