Lockdown birthday surprise for Catherine

published on 16 Feb 2021

Staff at a Salvation Army project for adults with learning disabilities helped make it a lockdown birthday to remember for one of the people they support.

Catherine Smith who attends the George Steven Community Hub in Kilbirnie celebrated her 50th birthday with a surprise, socially-distanced visit from her support workers.

A photo of a blonde lady smiling wearing 50th birthday badges and holding 50th birthday balloons.

The hub had to close last March due to the pandemic but staff have continued to be a lifeline for Catherine and others in the north Ayrshire community by providing a range of vital outreach services.

Joanne Graham, who manages the George Steven Community Hub, said: “Catherine had been looking forward to her 50th birthday for quite a while and we didn’t want the pandemic to stop that. Even though we couldn’t have the usual party or celebrations at the hub, we marked the special occasion by visiting Catherine in her garden, singing Happy Birthday and giving her gifts.

“Before the pandemic, Catherine attended the hub most days. She is extremely sociable and really enjoyed spending time with her friends at the hub, dancing, karaoke and playing dominos.

“Lockdown has been tough for everyone. However, Catherine was particularly affected with the unexpected passing of her beloved brother. To help her through this difficult time, we phoned her every evening, keeping her spirits up by talking about old times, memories, singing songs and telling jokes.

“We also dropped off freshly baked scones and made door-step, socially-distanced visits. Major Debbie Bennett, who leads The Salvation Army community church in Kilbirnie also kept in contact with Catherine over the phone.”

Catherine said: “It was a lovely birthday surprise to receive. This year has been so difficult but we have got through it together, taking it one day at time.”

A rough sleeper receives hot food and drink

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