Care home residents knock spots off mayor


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Care home residents in Wrexham have been knocking spots of the town mayor after he dropped in for a game of dominoes.

Fire fighter Andy Williams, a crew manager at Wrexham Fire Station, has served as town mayor since May of last year and made an official visit to Pendine Park’s Gwern Alyn Care Home to meet with residents and talk to staff.

However, during that visit a resident threw down the challenge that he pop back and take on a group of demon domino players in a battle for civic supremacy.

And according to Andy Williams, of Garden Village, they proved too strong for him and more often than not left him knocking the table unable to make a move.

He said: “I visited to meet with residents and was invited back, well challenged really, to have a few games of dominoes. I was delighted to accept and thrilled to win the first hand until I realised the ladies were just lulling me into a false sense of security.

“After that initial success it was all downhill I’m afraid. But I have to say its lovely coming to a residential home such as Gwern Alyn. Residents are so content and happy and the atmosphere is just so relaxed.

“It’s clearly a happy place and the relationship between residents and staff is there for all to see. I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit even though perhaps next time I’ll be more careful in accepting a challenge such as this, they are far too good!”

Linda Cawsey, the daughter of resident Pat Pennack, 79, one of the ladies to challenge the mayor, was present to witness her mum teaching the mayor how to play a tactical game of dominoes said: “It’s been lovely and great to see the mayor taking time out to pop into Gwern Alyn.

“Mum loves it at Gwern Alyn; she moved up from Croydon last year to be nearer me as she couldn’t really care for herself. Dad passed away two years ago. She was initially a resident of Gwern Alyn on respite but is now a permanent resident.

“The mayor visited last week and we got chatting then as I was visiting mum. He knows my son Ryan, who is the Air Cadets, so we had a connection straight away. It’s just fantastic to see him playing dominoes with residents; I know how much mum enjoys it.”

Linda’s mum, Pat, added: “It’s lovely to see the mayor and it’s great that he wanted to play dominoes with us. I can’t really describe how bad he is at playing the game though!”

Fellow resident Betty Marriott, 93, said: “It’s been lovely and I’ve really enjoyed it, who would have thought we’d be playing dominoes with the mayor!

Anne Jones, 83, who is also one of the residents to take on the mayor, said: “It’s been really good and something different. It’s great the mayor came in to visit and play dominoes even if he’s not quite as good as us!”

Gwern Alyn  enrichment and activities co-ordinator Yvonne Moran was delighted to welcome the mayor to the residential care home.

She said: “It’s really nice that the mayor came into see us and then agreed to pop back for a few games of dominoes along with tea, coffee and some specially baked domino cake.

“I know he’d struggle to beat the ladies who are excellent tactical players and enjoy the game. As part of Pendine Park we offer residents as varied a programme of activities as possible.

Gwern Alyn manager Jen Roberts added: “We do art work, poetry, creative writing and have lots of music sessions with visiting musicians. It’s our ethos to offer residents as much stimulation and activities as possible, enriching lives across the generations.”

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