1st Jul, 2022

Meet creative Canley centenarian Phyllis - Coventry Window Wanderland's oldest participant

Tristan Harris 25th Mar, 2022 Updated: 25th Mar, 2022

A CENTENARIAN in Canley is thought to be the oldest participant in this year’s Coventry Window Wanderland.

The project – which proved exceptionally popular last year as part of the UK City of Culture year – challenges residents to decorate their windows to create a trail around different areas.

Phyllis Deacon, who turns 101 in July and has lived at Herald Lodge for nine months, loves taking part in art and craft activities.

She has been a major contributor to the residential and dementia care home’s two brightly coloured windows which for part of the night time trail in Canley.

One of the Canley Road home’s downstairs windows has been given a sunny, spring theme, featuring honeybees, butterflies and birds alongside cheerful tulips and daffodils. The inclusion of blue forget-me-nots is a nod to Alzheimer’s Society, which has the flower as its motif.

Upstairs, a second large window pays homage to Coventry’s motor industry and includes depictions of cars, motorcycles and push bikes.

With a prominent position right next to Canley Station, home manager Clair Sutton-Hill hopes many will get to enjoy the residents’ handwork.

She said: “Phyllis is always full of ideas and opinions and loves to get involved in whatever is going on, especially arts and crafts.

“We believe she is this year’s oldest participant.”

The home teamed up with Creative Mojo which staff said made it very easy to take part.

Clair added: “With their support, I think we have achieved a very professional result. More importantly, everyone really enjoyed themselves.

“The finished displays look fabulous and everyone involved should feel very proud.

“As well as doing something creative, making the upstairs motor industry window was a great stimulus for a number of discussions about residents’ former jobs within the motor industry, including at Jaguar Land Rover and at Daimler.”

Phyllis said: ” I really enjoyed helping to create our displays for Window Wanderland. I wouldn’t say I was particularly good at arts and crafts, but I do enjoy doing them.

“I liked both of our themes, and wouldn’t mind doing some more”

Fellow resident Yvonne North, 83, said, “This was a new experience for me and I really enjoyed it.

“I like the way it was explained and what we did and it’s going to be really nice for people to see. I would love to do something like this again.”

Annette Falkingham, Creative Mojo Coventry and Nuneaton, said: “Creative Mojo was supported by Coventry City of Culture Trust to bring this opportunity to residential homes across Coventry and Warwickshire.

“These sessions have proved to be truly amazing, engaging with the residents on both floors of Herald Lodge.

“It was fantastic to see Phyllis so enthusiastic at 100 years old.”

Window Wanderland began in Bristol in 2015 and flourished over the last couple of years as an outdoor, Covid-safe project. Founder Lucy Reeves Khan says it brings neighbourhoods together, reduces social isolation, and inspires creativity.

Herald Lodge is a purpose built luxury residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. With 42 ensuite bedrooms, it has secure, landscaped gardens and a full and varied activities programme. It is rated good by the Care Quality Commission.

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