Scouts visit sparks happy memories for John

A former Scout leader who was involved for over 60 years with the scouting movement was delighted to receive a visit from the 1st Keyham (St Mark) Scouts at the residential home where he lives in St Budeaux, Plymouth.

Resident John Stone was a Scout leader for over six decades and despite his dementia he regularly reminisces about these times with staff at Butterfly Lodge.

The care team are currently engaged in a programme called ‘If only I could’ which is aimed at making residents’ dreams come true: they enable the people they support to revisit favourite activities they thought they were no longer able to do.

Tara West, who works as a healthcare assistant and is also Butterfly Lodge’s dignity champion, said: “When we spoke to John about making a wish for the ‘If only I could’ programme he spoke about his time with the Scouts and really lit up.

“John always loves to talk to me about what he used to do in the Scouts, and I find it so interesting – I could sit there for hours and listen to his stories.”

During their visit, as well as engaging with the residents, the Scouts constructed and installed a new bird house to go in the garden at Butterfly Lodge, under the guidance of Scout leader Chris Morton.

Tara West said: “John was delighted to spend time talking with them about what he used to do as a Scout leader and really enjoyed hearing about why they enjoy scouting and what activities they like best.

“He keeps telling everyone what a wonderful afternoon it was, and I’m hoping we can do it again.

“I am endlessly impressed that John spent over 60 years involved with the movement and we knew it would make him really happy to have a surprise visit from the local youngsters.

“Huge thanks to Chris Morton and Tracey Cooke of the 1st Keyham (St Mark) Scouts for working with us to make John’s dream come true.”

The activities inspired by the ‘If only I could’ wish-list form part of a busy and varied programme of activities provided for residents of Butterfly Lodge. The home is run by specialist dementia care providers Camelot Care who also run homes in Bridgwater, Wellington and Yeovil.

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