Turf Moor dream comes true for Norman (92)

The staff at The Grange Care Home in Colne have gone above and beyond to fulfil a long-term wish of 92-year-old resident Norman Bannister.

92-year-old Colne resident Norman Bannister  at Clarets  (S)
92-year-old Colne resident Norman Bannister at Clarets (S)

Norman is a lifelong fan of Burnley Football Club and has attended hundreds of the team’s matches throughout his life, but never thought he would be able to see one again.

Thanks to the generosity of Burnley FC, Norman – who despite his age continues a daily exercise regime – and his grandson were given a tour of the ground by a member of the Former Clarets, before having lunch and settling down to watch the Bank Holiday match on December 28th.

Organised by the home’s activity co-ordinator, Katherine Birtles, Norman’s day out was a resounding success, bringing back fond memories and fulfilling his dream as part of the home’s “Wishing Well” initiative.

All residents in the home are invited to choose one long-term wish they would like to fulfil during their time in the home and the staff team are challenged with making the residents’ wishes come true.


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Katherine said: “Norman can remember visiting The Turf when he was aged just five in 1928.

He recalls the match as if it were just yesterday, remembering players and match specifics in great detail. When asked about what his ‘Wishing Well’ wish might be, returning to The Turf was an obvious choice for him.”

Norman said about the trip: “It was one of the best days of my life! The day just got better and better!”

Katherine added: “Norman has not really stopped talking about it and is delighted and so obviously enthused about the whole experience.”


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Norman is one of the many residents in all brighterkind care homes throughout the UK that are able to take part in a new programme of recreational activities and exercise classes that are designed to be an enjoyable way of improving their health and wellbeing. Staff in the brighterkind care homes have received specialist training from Oomph! Wellness, an award-winning social enterprise which is the UK’s largest provider of fun activities programmes for older people.

The partnership follows a successful pilot in 15 brighterkind homes, which showed a significant beneficial effect for residents.

Those residents who participated in the recreational activities and exercise classes gave them a resounding endorsement, with 95% saying the sessions had a positive impact on their health and all respondents saying they made them feel happy, while 80% of staff said they saw a significant improvement in social interaction amongst residents.

The residents who took part in regular sessions saw a 13% improvement in self assessed quality of life and a 20% increase in grip strength over three months.