The sound of silence will be music to the ears of staff and residents of a care home – at least for a few hours.
Chatterbox Emma Locker, 40, who admits she can’t stop talking and singing, agreed to a four-hour long sponsored silence in an effort to raise funds for Age Cymru.
Emma, a resident of Highfield House which is part of the Pendine Park care organisation, suffered serious brain injuries 19 years ago when she was involved a road accident.
She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time and her head crashed through the windscreen of her car.
As a result, she has to use wheelchair and has been a resident at Pendine Park for the past six years.
Emma has been a Pendine Park resident for more than six years and says she enjoys living at Highfield House.
She said: “You have to make the best of things. I was driving from Coedpoeth to Wrexham 19 years ago and went around a corner downhill that was a bad place for accidents.
“There had been lots of crashes there but I did it in style and was very badly injured. I spent more than nine months in hospital.
“I had two jobs at the time; I was a section head at Carden Park Hotel and worked at the Nag’s Head pub in Farndon, which is where I’m originally from.
“I wish the accident hadn’t happened, although I don’t remember much about it. I was always busy and rushing about but if you have a bad crash and are injured then your life changes forever.
“I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and my head went through the windscreen and that’s how my brain was damaged. I have some memory problems and I’m a different person than I was before the accident.”
She added: “I have to use a wheelchair all the time now. I can stand with help for a few minutes to transfer to another chair or something like that but that’s it. I can’t walk though, although I can use my legs when sitting in my wheelchair to move about a bit.
“I also suffered a brain injury in the crash that has had a bad effect on me. I have to be cared for all the time now and I understand that. I will always have to live in a care home.
“I was living in the Bryn Bella care home until a few months ago but then I moved to Highfield House.
“The staff at Pendine Park are great and really help me. I’ve also made a few friends there too.”
She added: “I just want to raise lots of money for Age Cymru and thought the best way was by a sponsored silence because I knew no one would think I could do it. Well I’m going to prove them wrong!”
According to Highfield House enrichment coordinator Chris Lewis. all the residents and staff are supporting Emma.
Chris said: “Emma never shuts up, not even for five minutes, so how she will manage four hours is anyone’s guess!
“She’s a real character and we all think the world of her .I think she will really struggle because she really is such a chatterbox but it will be four hours of heaven if she manages it!”
Emma has no worries she will complete the sponsored silence and that she will raise a good amount for Age Cymru.
She said: “I’ve already got more than £60 in sponsors and that’s only a day after I started asking people and giving them my sponsor form.
“They think I can’t do it but I can. I’m making cards with messages on like ‘can I have a coffee’ that I can hold up so I don’t need to speak. And I can sing songs to myself in my head.
“I did a sponsored swim a few years ago. Once I make my mind up and I’m determined to do something then I make sure I do it.”
Highfield manager Tracy Smith said: “Emma is a larger than life character with a heart of gold and it is typical of her to want to raise money for such a good cause.
“Staff, residents and families are supporting her fundraising and I’m sure she will collect a good sum of money for the charity Age Cymru.”