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Sailors share love with nursing home

By Mandy Shearing

SAILORS based at HMS Collingwood were delighted to be asked to join in Valentine’s Day festivities at a neighbouring nursing home earlier this week; putting a smile on everybody’s faces.

The staff served residents with a special three-course lunch to mark Valentine’s Day on Tuesday before a group of trainees paid a visit; presenting all the ladies in the home with a long stemmed red rose.

The young sailors were keen to spend more time with the residents, some of whom were veterans, sharing experiences and hearing stories of their lives.

And there was a family connection as Able Seaman Sam Hinks was able to visit his own Grandmother, Pam, who is one of the residents at the home.

He said: “I recently arrived at Collingwood, but my course hasn’t started yet so I was keen to volunteer to come along before I realised it was where my Nan was. It’s just a nice thing to be able  to do and the staff have been so lovely.”

Pam was equally delighted to see her grandson Sam and said “I’m really proud of him and it’s so good to see him here today. It’s great to have all the young sailors visiting.”

Meanwhile Ruby Abbott, known as Pat, was interested to talk to today’s trainees and she especially noted how their uniforms had changed. She had been a Wren and later married a sailor.

She said, “We did our job but also had great fun in the WRNS. Later I had the chance to travel with my husband across the world including Aden and Kenya.”

HMS Collingwood enjoys close links with its near neighbour and trainees are always thrilled to be able to take some time away from their busy training schedules to visit the residents there, whatever the celebration.

PICTURED BY MARIA MONTAGUE: Sailors chat to residents of care home to mark Valentine’s Day on February 14, an example of HMS Collingwood’s great relationships with neighbours and friends.