25th Jun, 2022

150 elderly residents in Coventry and North Warwickshire surprised with VE day afternoon teas

John Carlon 11th May, 2020

ELDERLY residents isolating across Coventry and Bedworth were not forgotten on VE Day, after being surprised with afternoon teas.

More than 150 older people who are currently unable to leave home due to the pandemic, received the treat as part of the Friends of the Nook care packages.

They were organised by group chair John Ison and delivered in a vintage Harrington’s coach.

Organiser John works as a cleaner at PQMS Training in Bedworth and was delighted when company chief executive Liam Minehane offered to pay for half of the teas, which were made by the neighbouring Meeting Point Café.

And John says despite the hard work from all of those involved, it has been worth it to receive messages from delighted residents.

John and coach driver Bob Harrington were also greeted with rounds of applause from those holding VE Day street parties and heard about the work they were doing.

John said: “Many of these people were in the war or knew someone who was, so we felt it was very important to mark VE Day for the elderly people in our community.

“Some of those we dropped afternoon teas to had not seen anyone for weeks and were so happy to have been thought of.

“I’m really grateful to the businesses and locals who helped put this together, to Liam for paying for so many of the teas and coach driver Bob Harrington for making the deliveries extra special. As always, we could not have done this without all the support.”

PQMS has remained open throughout the outbreak, offering training to emergency services and construction staff.

Chief executive Liam Minehane said: “We are so proud of the work John has been doing sending out care packages. He is a very quiet and unassuming man who does all of this without looking for any reward.

“We knew we wanted to help make a contribution and thought this would be ideal because the Meeting Point Café is on our site. It is a pleasure for us to support John.”

And Shelley Stewart who owns the café believes the hard work during the coronavirus crisis is worth the reward.

Shelley and her colleague Sam Wale woke up at 4am on VE Day to begin making the teas.

Shelley said: “I have been to people who have not seen anyone for six weeks, and it’s great just to put a smile on their faces.

“It is hard work making the afternoon teas but it is worth it and we get great satisfaction from people’s response. It has been a pleasure doing this to support John.”

The Friends of the Nook care packages are sent out to vulnerable and elderly people across Bedworth, Nuneaton and Coventry on a daily basis. They are filled with donated items, meals and cakes.

Call 07968107155 or email johnison36@hotmail.com for more information.

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