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Care home staff organise ‘Elephantastic’ surprise for elephant loving residents

07 March 2022

Care home staff at Sunnyview House Bupa Care Home in Beeston, Leeds, surprised elephant-obsessed residents with videos of elephants at Samui Elephant Haven in Thailand enjoying a personalised celebratory fruit cake, with the words ‘Sunnyview House’ inscribed upon it.

Following a discussion held by Home Manager, Fran Fisher, the care home team discovered that several residents were keen elephant fans and had always dreamed of interacting with the animals.

Residents, Ursula and Doreen have always wanted to see elephants in their natural habitat and fellow resident Don – also an elephant fanatic – is well versed in interesting elephant facts and enjoys sharing them with his fellow residents.

So in response, the care home team decided to surprise Ursula, Doreen, and Don with videos of elephants at Samui Elephant Haven enjoying their very own Sunnyview House fruit cake.

Fran Fisher, Home Manager at Sunnyview House, commented: “When we learnt of the residents’ love of elephants, we knew we had to get creative! My friend had been lucky enough to visit Samui Elephant Haven and had informed me of how the sanctuary, as part of their fundraising efforts, offers the chance to purchase personalised fruit cakes for the elephants. We thought it would be a great way for Sunnyview residents to feel connected with the elephants – as well as provide a tasty treat for them.”

Funds raised by Sunnyview Care Home’s purchase of the fruit cakes will help support elephants rescued from types of elephant exploitation practices including trekking, performing in circuses, logging, and street begging.

Sunnyview residents were moved by the videos and images of the elephants, as well as being pleased that they had donated to such an important cause.

Care home resident, Ursula commented: “I have always loved elephants; they are such beautiful gentle giants, so it was really touching to see them in action! I love how they all look after each other, just like how we do here at Sunnyview House.”

Sunnyview House resident, Doreen expresses her love of elephants through the décor of her room at Sunnyview House, as she boasts a collection of elephant ornaments in her room which staff, family and friends add to whenever they have been on their travels. She said: “I couldn’t believe it was real when I first saw the video! I was amazed by the beauty of the elephants, and it really made me giggle watching them scoop up all the fruit so keenly.”

Don, another elephant fan at Sunnyview House, added: “I welled up when I saw the videos and pictures of the elephants enjoying our lovely fruit cake – it made my day.”

The elephant surprise was part of Bupa Care Homes’ #NeverTooLate initiative rolled out by Bupa across all its care homes nationwide. #NeverTooLate helps residents live life to the full and achieve the things they’ve long wanted to do, from trying out new activities to reconnecting with old pastimes.

Fran Fisher added: “It’s always lovely to brighten the residents’ days and we continue to strive to do this each and every day at Sunnyview House. All the team have greatly enjoyed sharing the video with residents and their families, although my 5-year-old now wants an elephant pet for his birthday! I think he’ll have to join the Sunnyview queue.”

Sunnyview House Bupa Care Home is situated in Beeston and welcomes residents in need of nursing or residential care, including those living with early-stage dementia. For further information, please visit https://www.bupa.co.uk/care-services

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