A trailer firm has helped bring families together by creating an ingenious mobile visiting pod for a care home.
Ifor Williams Trailers came up trumps after Catherine Roberts, the assistant manager at the 23-bed Cysgod y Gaer care home in Corwen, got in touch asking for help.
According to Catherine, they wanted to enable residents to see their families and at the same time maximise safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The iconic company, which has its headquarters in the town, rose immediately to the challenge and designed the innovative meeting space.
The design is based on their market-leading Business Inabox model which has been adapted for a huge variety of uses, including mobile shops, barbershops, workshops and bars.
Last year the big-hearted company also donated a mobile clinic to the town’s family health centre in Green Lane because they were desperate for a separate clinical area to assess patients with Covid-19 symptom.
The company jumped into action once again when the call came from Cysgod y Gaer.
To ensure safety and comfort, the insulated mobile meeting room has two separate entrances and a heating system to keep everybody warm and snug.
They have installed a ramp leading up to the entrance for residents so it’s accessible for people in wheelchairs.
There’s also a sleeved armhole in the screen so that the residents can safely touch the gloved hands of their visitors, along with microphones and speakers so they can hear each other properly.
Catherine Roberts explained: “I contacted Samantha Williams at Ifor Williams Trailers and it all snowballed from there.
“It’s just brilliant. There’s heating and lighting so it’s ideal in any weather. The virus has not gone away so we’re going to have to careful for a long time.
“But people need to see their families and friends. With this, it’s not just one family member, it can be son, daughter, grandchildren, great grandchildren – we have them here as well.
“It really cheers the residents up to see the little children or see friends or neighbours.
“We’ve seen that it raises the spirits of the residents since we’ve restarted the visiting. You can see the difference in them.
“We are extremely grateful to Ifor Williams Trailers because it’s a lifeline for our residents. They have thought of everything.”
Among the appreciative relatives is Huw Williams, originally from Corwen but now living in Ruthin, whose mother, Eirlys, 87, a grandmother of five, has been living at Cysgod y Gaer for the past four years.
Huw, a data manager at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph, said: “This is ideal and I hope it will inspire more people to come and visit because it’s important for the welfare of the residents.
“It makes a world of difference because you can have a proper conversation in warm and comfortable surroundings.”
Samantha Williams, management support specialist at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “We are very much rooted in the local community so when the call came from Catherine we were delighted to be able to help.
“Corwen is a very close-knit community, and a number of the residents are former employees of the company and a number of our staff have family members working there.”
Phil Gilroy, Denbighshire County Council’s Head of Community Support Services, said: “This is a fantastic resource for Cysgod Y Gaer and we are very grateful for the support from Ifor Williams Trailers. This visiting pod has enabled visits from families in covid-safe situations and seeing them re-connect has been wonderful.
“This is a great example of how the community has worked with us in supporting our citizens during these challenging times.”