Wedding bells at Heathside

Stephen, Raymond and Julia
Stephen, Raymond and Julia

When Raymond Gaskell was too ill to attend his son’s wedding last month, staff at Heathside Residential Home in Leigh decided to take action.

Raymond, 73, who lives at Heathside Residential Home in Leigh, was unable to attend the wedding on Saturday April 25 because of the severity of his dementia.

When staff found out, they decided that if Raymond couldn’t go to the wedding then the wedding would have to come to him. So the day after, the groom (Stephen Gaskell) and bride (Julia) and the rest of the wedding party put their glad rags back on and headed to Heathside for wedding party number two.

In preparation for the event, residents helped staff decorate the conservatory, and the cook prepared a buffet, which even included a wedding cake.

Jane Harniess, shift leader at Heathside Residential Home helped to arrange the celebration along with other staff members. She said: “When Stephen found out his dad was unable to attend the wedding, he was understandably upset, especially since he wouldn’t be on the photographs. When we told him about our idea to bring the wedding party to Heathside he was overwhelmed and thought it would be a great way to involve Raymond. It was all hands on deck to get it organised for the big day. The team worked really hard to ensure it all went smoothly.”

Stephen Gaskell said: “Julia and myself had tried hard to keep from shedding tears on our wedding day but when we got to Heathside and saw my Dad’s face beaming and looking the part, tears flowed. This meant so much to us both and my family – mum, sister, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. The decorations matched our décor on the day perfectly. The buffet was excellent and even a wedding cake was made for us. We didn’t expect anything like this, so thank you very, very much to everyone at Heathside - you made our day complete.”