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Refugee reunited with her 'hero' 40 years after he saved her life

On Wednesday 13th September 2017, the Tyrone Courier ran a touching piece regarding a resident at Nightingale Care Home in Dungannon and how his courageous actions 40 years previously had saved many peoples’ lives.

Healey Martin was the Captain of the ship ‘Sibonga’ which carried out a compassionate rescue of 1,003 Vietnamese refugees in 1979.

One refugee that was saved was 15 year old Ann Bates, who recently travelled over to meet her ‘hero’ Healey after all this time.

Ann, lives outside of London with her family had remained in correspondence with Healey over the years and made the decision to come and meet him at Nightingale Care Home where he now resides.

The rescue took place when a member of the crew had seen a boatload of around 600 refugees emitting distress signals and waving to attract his attention. He alerted Captain Martin about the situation. The decision was then made by the Captain to carry out the difficult task of helping the refugees into his ship.

Healey said: “We decided to take them on board and help them. They were in very cramped poor conditions.”

Only a few hours later the ship was faced with even more refugees that they also helped board, taking the number of people saved to over 1,000.

The Sibonga was on a circular route around the North Pacific and on a run between South East Asia and the west coast of Canada and North America visiting Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

After arriving in Hong Kong the refugees were unable to disembark. This caused an issue for Captain Healey, as the Sibonga was unable to continue its journey with the new passengers as its illegal for a ship to sail without enough lifeboats for all of those on board.

After two weeks anchored at sea, Captain Martin got word that his employers had organised airplanes to transport the refugees back to the UK.

Both Healey and Ann enjoyed catching up on Saturday after all of these years, and will continue to stay in touch.

Are you looking for a care home in Dungannon? Nightingale Care Home offers support for all types of care including residential care, nursing care, respite care and specialist care.

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17 Dec 2017

Residents, relatives, the care team and local community have all been helping get Riverside View Care Home in Darlington in the festive spirit.

Claire Westmorland, Home Manager, said: “Firstly we want to thank the local Co-Op who raised a lovely £180 for our resident’s fund. This will go towards our Christmas entertainment. On behalf of everyone in the home I want to thank Co-Op for their kind donation.”

Christmas has definitely hit the home, as they all got ready for their Christmas raffle. Complete with their very own naughty elf.

Claire added: “I want to thank everyone who donated to our raffle. The monies raised will go towards providing special experiences for our residents over the festive period. Merry Christmas from everyone at Riverside View.”

Are you looking for a care home in Darlington? Riverside View Care Home provides support for residential care, dementia care, respite care, end of life/palliative care and intermediate care.


16 Dec 2017

The team at Laurels Lodge Care Home in Woodside pulled out all the stops last week as they took part in Laurels Lodge has got talent.

It was an afternoon full of fun and laughter and the team were up for the challenge and showcased their talents amazingly.

Children from Donbank Nursery also joined the residents that day and they got involved and joined in dancing to the birdie song with the Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader. Relatives who came also joined in the dance and had a fun afternoon.

May Duncan said “this is great”! as she danced the birdie song.

Other relatives such as Lorna Graham and Irene Sivewright commented on how good the show was.

The headline acts included:

  • Linda Mason (Deputy Manager) and Lynn Smith (Home Administrator) - ABBA
  • Morag Leslie (SNCA) & Jenny Watt (Care Assistant) – as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
  • Rhodora Antiojo (Staff Nurse), Felix Mahinay (Care Assistant), Ewa Misztal (Care Assistant) & Arlene McGillivray (Care Assistant) as the Village People danced the YMCA music
  • Nomeda Jackstienne (Cook) as Madonna
  • Jolanta Nieckarz as Lady Gaga
  • Marlene Smith (PAL) dressed up as Chicken
  • Sheila Gesma (Home Manager) as the DJ

Marlene Smith, Personal Activities Leader, said: “The whole show was fabulous! The teachers from Donbank Nursery said to me that what we did was fantastic and they were very happy that the kids thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Sheila our manager was our DJ. It was also great to see relatives participating; it was indeed an afternoon full of fun and entertainment!”

Are you looking for a care home in Woodside? Laurels Lodge Care Home offers support for dementia care, nursing care and respite care.


16 Dec 2017

The Rookery Care Home has been fundraising to get some new activity equipment to provide special experiences for those in their care.

Susan Dyke, a member of the team made a big sacrifice and as a result raised over £400 for the cause.

Gail Llewelyn, Home Manager, said: “Sue decided she’s cut her hair off for the cause. She used to have hair that would rival Rapunzel and had never been to a hairdresser, so to have it cut off into a pixie style was a big deal for her. On behalf of everyone at The Rookery I want to say thank you!”

Are you looking for a care home in Ebbw Vale? The Rookery Care Home offers support for dementia care.


15 Dec 2017

The team at The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home in Mansfield celebrated a huge 120 years’ worth of experience last week, as 5 team members received long service awards.

Karen Gilbert, Home Manager presented the7 team members with their Long Service Certificates and gifts as a thank you for their continued dedication and hard work.

Karen said: “It was a pleasure presenting the team with their awards. I want to say massive congratulations to them all for their continued dedication and hard work. They’re all thought of very highly here in the Sycamore and Poplars by the rest of the team, the residents and their relatives.”

Are you looking for a care home in Mansfield? The Sycamore and Poplars Care Home offers support for all types of care including residential care, dementia care, nursing care, respite care and end of life/palliative care.

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