Heartwarming moment Blackpool care home resident visits seaside for first time in 2 years as lockdown eases

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The 79-year-old was overjoyed to be able to walk along the sand and look at Blackpool Tower for the first time in two years

Ray Larkin visit the seaside for the first time in two years.

Ray Larkin visit the seaside for the first time in two years.

Life is slowly getting back to normal, following the uncertainty of the past 18 months.

Lockdowns, local tiers and restrictions have spread chaos throughout our normal lives and disrupted the everyday things which we once took for granted.

Thankfully, with the mass vaccine roll out and a gradual end to restrictions, we are returning to normality.

One person who has recently been able to return to one of their favourite pastimes was Ray Larkin, a 79-year-old care home resident in Blackpool.

Having lived in Blackpool during his former years, Ray later settled in the city of Preston, leaving the seaside behind him.

But his fondness for the resort, and its beaches, stayed with him.

Ray became a resident at Pennystone Court, a care home in Blackpool and, last weekend, was able to enjoy his first beach walk since 2019.

It’s the small things in life that make us happy, and for Ray, walking along the Blackpool sands for the first time in 24 months, was the highlight of his year.

The pandemic has kept Ray confined to his care home for months.

The pandemic has kept Ray confined to his care home for months.

Ray said: “I was particularly excited about the idea of living by the sea again when I moved to Blackpool.

“However, due to the pandemic, I was was unable to safely leave the care home.”

As soon as infection rates improved and guidance on leaving the home changed, staff carried out a full risk assessment.

Care home staff waited for a sunny day to make Ray’s dreams of a walk by the sea come true.

Ray said: “It made my day to see the sea and the tower again.

“The walk brought back a lot of memories about my time in Blackpool as a young man. I even remembered some of the roads as we walked past them.”

Pennystone Court worker, Lisa Robins, says Ray had been talking about visiting the seaside for a while.

The home manager was able to accompany the 79-year-old on his first seaside jaunt in two years.

She said: “I was delighted to safely support the walk for Ray. It made such a difference to his overall mental wellbeing.

“I love moments like this where we can bring joy to our residents and make a difference to their lives – that’s what my job is all about.”