The last year have undoubtedly been very challenging and distressing for care homes. Teams responsible for wellbeing of residents and their families have optimised their efforts to provide them with best care, entertainment and reassurance. Navigation through infection control measures and restrictions in visiting policy proved to be incredibly testing for all.

Ridgeway Rise team couldn’t be happier when the latest Government’s guidelines update allowed them to honour a very special occasion for one of their residents.

In May Stella and Jim celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

They met in the sergeant’s mess. 18-year-old Stella was serving as a private in the woman’s royal army core and Jim was a sergeant in the royal signals, based at Figsbury camp, Winterbourne gunner, near Salisbury.

Little did they know that that night of playing snooker and socialising would few months later see them embarking on a lifelong journey. Jim proposed with a ring costing £4.10 and sometime later they married at the registry office in Salisbury.

They’ve had an amazing life together. Jim loved to ride and build motorbikes – Stella often rode in the side car with him. They travelled and lived in different places around the world, including Catrick, Singapore and Germany. Stella’s motto has always been – Go as far as you can, while you can! Their family expanded in time, they had 3 boys: James, Andrew and David. There are 5 generations of Purdy’s started by Jim and Stella those 60 years ago!

On their special day, friends at Ridgeway Rise together with the loving family organised a surprise for the celebrating couple. Jim, Stella and their loved ones shared an anniversary cake. Glasses with champagne were raised to cheer their love.

Jim, one of the sons said, ‘I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone from Ladies in Pink, all the Staff and of course the Chef, for making that day so memorable’.

David Purdy concluded ‘Seeing my Mum and Dad together after all that’s been going on and watching them holding hands after 60 years brought a tear to my eyes’

Andrew said ‘Seeing Mum and Dad looking so well and in good spirits was a great tonic for what we have all been through in the last year’.

Bella Balaci, the general manager wished the couple more happy years, saying ‘It’s such an honour to be a part of this special occasion. Watching Jim and Stella looking lovingly into each other’s eyes after 6 decades of sharing ups and downs of life, really shows that, just like diamonds, love can be truly enduring and unconquerable.’

Stella and Jim couldn’t hide their emotions, happily holding hands and celebrating their journey, devotion and fabulous memories.