CHRISTMAS has come early to elderly residents at a Peterlee care home as they prepare to hold their annual festive fayre.
Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, on Manor Way, will have stalls selling cakes and gifts, a raffle and tombola.
Father Christmas will also make an appearance for the residents and staffs’ families and friends among other visitors.
The Christmas Fayre is open to the community on Saturday, 18th November, from 1.30pm to 3:30pm.
Mary Slessor, a longtime volunteer at the home, said: “I wouldn’t miss the Christmas Fayre for the world. I’ve come every year since mum came to live at Bannatyne Lodge.
“It’s great to see residents’ families visit and especially all the grandchildren and great grandchildren. It’s an annual treat.”
Volunteers such as Mary are essential to the home being able to host community events such as the Christmas Fayre.
Mary’s mother Margaret lived at Bannatyne Lodge for 10 years. She said: “I visited mum after work every day but, once I retired, I could spend more time at Bannatyne with her.
“She made lots of friends at the home and, although mum couldn’t speak, the staff learned how to communicate with her.
“They always made her the centre of attention and she loved living here.”
Two other long-serving volunteers include Marion Hearne, whose mother Evelyn Parker lived at the home for 11 years, and Ken Fortune, whose mother Edna lived at the home for nine years.
Marion said: “I thought when mum died I wouldn’t want to go back to Bannatyne anymore but, after the first month, I decided to go back and help out with the bingo and now I visit every week.”
Lynn Chapman, home manager of Bannatyne Lodge Care Home, said: “Without the help of volunteers like Mary, Marion and Ken, who’ve been helping at the home for almost 30 years between them, it would be more difficult to host events such as the Christmas Fayre.
“We can’t thank them enough for giving their time and supporting events that bring the local community into the home and help our residents continue to feel a part of the area.
“The Christmas Fayre is a great opportunity for anyone in Peterlee to enjoy a mince pie and a hot cup of tea, chat to the residents, browse the stalls and buy a ticket to the tombola.
“I hope as many will come along and get into the Christmas spirit as possible.”