Ben* is 91 and served as RAF Ground Crew as Flight Engineer in the UK and overseas in the latter stages of WW2 and then served with the RAF for 30 years!
Ben’s wife has been diagnosed with dementia, over the last 5 years he had become her principal carer. His wife was his first girlfriend and they have been together for 70 years. Ben is also facing physical health problems and was recently diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, consequently his mobility and socialisation is impacted on. His wife has recently been taken into full time hospital care and is awaiting a nursing home placement. Ben visits her every day and is now caring for himself.
Ben no longer drives and is dependant on taxis and buses to get around and visit his wife. Woodys now plays an important and central role in providing a much needed social point, which Ben refers to as “his club”. Woody’s is providing the crucial support for veterans of the armed forces and emergency service leavers that many forget is so important. Ben’s son has commented on how his father has changed for the positive and how he looks forward to coming to Woody’s Lodge to talk about his experiences in the RAF with other “senior” RAF veterans.
Woody’s free transport minibus picks Ben up and drops him off on Tuesdays and Thursdays where he spends on average 4 hours at Woody’s at Amelia Trust Farm where he enjoys walks around the farm.
He also enjoys his time in the minibus ‘as co-pilot’ and talks of his life and family to our Transport Officer, Kimberly.
“I see Woody’s as my second family and has been a lifeline during the difficult years of looking after my Diane, I love talking to my RAF colleagues and listening to other veteran’s experiences both young and senior.
*name has been changed