AS WE approach the 75th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings, Pat Holloway enjoys sitting and recalling her time in the Wrens.
The 97-year-old is a client at The Lodge, a day care centre next to the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.
She like spending time at the centre, which opened less than two years ago and focuses on providing care on an intimate basis.
‘I have been coming here for about three months now. I like the company and I like to get out,’ Pat says.
‘The people who are here are very nice and they are good to me. I like it because it’s very friendly. It’s peaceful here and you can do what you want.’
Pat, who lives in sheltered accommodation around the corner in Stamshaw, enjoys talking to others about her memories of the war and of her time in the Wrens.
She says: ‘I remember the war years, diving down to the shelters. I remember the beach being packed on D-Day,’ she says.
‘I used to go down to the seafront and pick up wounded soldiers from the ships. We used to have to take them to the nearest hospital. We would look after them.
‘I like sharing my stories of the war. It brings it all back.’
The Lodge is run by owners Michael Cox and June Conn. They pride themselves on their personal service, which ensures they take no more than 10 people at a time to provide a quieter, more relaxed setting.
Sam Stanton, 65, is Pat’s daughter. She says: ‘It’s brilliant. June and Michael are fantastic. We wanted her to go there because she moved in February last year. She had lived in her own home all that time, but it got too much for her.
‘She has never been one for staying indoors. She wanted to be out all the time, but she’s a lot older now and we need to keep an eye on her.
‘She absolutely loves it. They are like family to her. She’s diabetic and they go out of their way to provide her with suitable food.
‘Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them.’
The Lodge allows people to have the freedom to do whatever they like. That could be reading, having a nap, playing games or doing arts and crafts such as painting, model-making or jewellery-making.
The building, which is an old park keeper’s house, has a variety of different rooms to keep clients entertained.
They include a library, a bright lounge and dining room, two bathrooms with shower facilities and an outdoor patio area.
People can visit for the day or for half a day and enjoy lunch as well as tea, coffee and cake. It costs £45 for a full day, £30 for a half-day including lunch or £25 without lunch.
To find out more about The Lodge, go to the-lodge-day-centre.co.uk