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Helen's story

It is such great comfort to us to know she is in such an amazing environment, is being well taken care of, has such freedom and such a great quality of life.

My name is Mark and my aunt Helen is 71 years old and has been a resident at Ravenswood since she was 5 years old.



Approximately 30 years ago, when I was 15 years old, I came to Ravenswood and met Helen for the first time. At that time, because of certain family dynamics, my dad (her brother) was contacted and told that family members were no longer visiting her. As soon as we found out, my Dad took over and we would come to England, from the States, twice a year to visit her and take her on holiday.


I did not know what to expect when we went to pick her up for the first time. I was thinking it would probably be some institutionalized hospital type situation and it made me very sad to think about. When we arrived I could not believe what an amazing environment she was living in. She lives in the Green, has her own flat, has so much freedom and such a great quality of life.


All she talked about was taking care of horses, riding horse carts, the dances/ parties they had, the holidays and excursions they went on as well as the various jobs she has had over the years.




I can not even begin how devastating a move would be to her at this point in her life!

Having just met her I could not believe and could not have felt better about the care she was receiving, all the things she was doing and the level of independence and normalcy she was experiencing in her life. My dad is no longer with us but my mum, my wife, my son and I and I visit her at least once a year. I still get that same feeling and peace of mind every time we are able to visit her at Ravenswood.


When we received notification that there is a possibility that Ravenswood may close down it was devastating to us. She has lived there for her entire life and it is such great comfort to us to know she is in such an amazing environment, is being well taken care of, has such freedom and such a great quality of life. This uncertainty is very stressful to our family and if it does actually close I can’t even begin to think what we are going to do.



But as much as it is stressful to us the more troubling thought is what it will do to her! I feel that she will be absolutely devastated and it would turn her whole world upside down. I think it will severely impact her mental health and will lead to negatively affecting her physical health and very possibly shorten her lifespan. A change like this would be unbearable for anyone after 66 years and I can not even begin how devastating a move would be to her at this point in her life!


I truly hope that the feedback from the families and the wellbeing of our loved ones at Ravenswood is of the utmost importance and is being truly considered in the decision making process. If Ravenswood closes it will be truly devastating to all involved.


As we live in the United States and only get to visit once or twice a year, I do not have many pictures of her life at Ravenswood. But I do have some family pictures with Helen over the years from our visits with her and when we get to take on holiday.



She has a great life there and is always happy, unless she is tired or hungry or if she hears fireworks go off. As I said, she always speaks fondly of the things she does in her day to day life at Ravenswood and it is always heart breaking when we leave her to return home. When we do take her back to Ravenswood at the end of our trip I have such peace of mind knowing that she is in such a great place.

Thank you,



Mark

Helen's nephew



Ravenswood Village is currently under consultation with the possibility of closure. Please show your support for our families and friends to keep their home by signing the petition below. These are vulnerable people who deserve to continue to live where they feel happy, loved and safe.



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