Here at Apple Blossom Lodge we pride ourselves in giving special treats to our residents. Ben (name changed for confidentiality) is a 58 year old resident, who we felt was deserving of a trip of a lifetime.
Ben has been detained under the Mental Health Order and institutionalised since the age of 19. Since he was 11 years old Ben has faithfully supported Manchester United. Staff at Apple Blossom Lodge are greeted on a Monday morning with the Saturday score line. Football is without doubt the love of Ben’s life.
Staff began planning the surprise, which was not an easy task. Ben had never travelled by plane, didn’t have a passport and required supervision. A citizenship card was applied for, this allowed Ben to travel by plane. Tickets for the match were booked and a hotel room reserved and a member of staff accompanied Ben.
Result! A chat with Ben, springing the surprise and giving him the itinerary on Saturday 19th December. Ben accompanied by Nurse-In-Charge, Martin McKee boarded the EasyJet flight from Belfast to Manchester. A visit to Old Trafford in the afternoon to watch Manchester United Vs Norwich followed.That evening they stayed at Trafford Hall Hotel, owned by two previous players at Manchester United; Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Ben returned to us on Sunday 20th December.
Ben’s predicted score was Manchester United 4, Norwich 1, but sadly it was Manchester United 1 – 2 Norwich.
Pictured is Staff Nurse Martin McKee holding “Ben’s” Manchester United top.