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 Unicorn leads Grand National fun at Barnsley care home

Unicorn leads Grand National fun at Barnsley care home

By 17th April, 2023 Press Releases No Comments

A GIANT unicorn joined the Grand National fun at a Barnsley care home – when residents raced their own paper horses and enjoyed a friendly flutter on the event.

Residents and staff at Deangate Care Home, on Towngate, Mapplewell, had their own day at the races, which included a visit from an inflatable, pink horned unicorn.

The fancy dress costume was worn by the care home’s activities coordinator, Rachael Addy, to surprise residents on race day.

She said: “In the spirit of the occasion I decided to get dressed up. However, there wasn’t any horse outfits left, so I chose the closest one which was a unicorn. So as you can imagine the residents thought it was hilarious.

“The unicorn went for a roam around the grounds and when I popped up in front of the window the reactions were priceless.”

Residents also took part in their own races, when they blew paper horses down a table-top racetrack with straws and a hairdryer, with large printouts of the Aintree crowds cheering them on from the grandstands.

Every race winner received a raffle ticket, which were totted up and the residents with the most tickets received prizes.

Sylvia Crosby, 86, won a bottle of wine. She said: “It’s difficult at first but when you get the hang of it it’s a lot of fun, but you need a lot of puff.”

Fellow winner Ivy Barton, 93, received a lily plant. She said: “It’s taken all my breath, but I did it. It was worth it plus I won a beautiful lily and I never really win anything.”

There was also a sweepstake among the care home residents on the real Grand National, with Bill Gough, 84, Betty Wood, 89, and Jean Gardner, 89, joining Sylvia and Ivy for a flutter.

While between races, unicorn Rachael kept everyone entertained with her antics.

Bill said: “Do you do donkey rides?” To which Rachael joked: “Yes, just 50p a go round the car park.”

Resident Frances Smith, 88, said: “Rachael will do anything to make us smile and this is something I will definitely never forget. It’s not every day a unicorn comes in to say good morning.”

Rachael Dawson, home manager at Deangate Care Home, said: “The Grand National is very popular among our residents – as many of them have been watching the races for decades – so we like to make a day of it.

“Our activities coordinator, Rachael, surprised everyone when she turned up as a unicorn, after being unable to get a horse outfit, but everyone found it hilarious.

“Our own table-top Grand National also went down very well, with lots of cheering and smiles for the winners when they crossed the finish line.

“It was a fabulous day that raised everyone’s spirits and I think they’re all looking forward to next year’s event already – when we might see the return of the race-day unicorn.”

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