Off to the races – wish comes true for Cheltenham care home residents

Cheltenham Races

Venue: Cheltenham

Two local care home residents were part of the mane event at Cheltenham racecourse.

Gary Williams and Ernie Davies, aged 71 and 83 respectively, two residents at Care UK’s Sandfields, on St George’s Road, were treated to an evening at the races after making the request on the home’s Wishing Tree.

The trip was part of the home’s ‘Wishing Tree’ Initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new – from flying on a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

Lifelong horse-racing enthusiasts Gary and Ernie both used to attend the Cheltenham Races regularly. When the team learned about their wish to return, they got to work and reached out to Cheltenham Racecourse, who helped them make their wish to visit again come true.

On the day, Gary and Ernie watched the evening race, getting up close to the action and parade ring, and were also given the opportunity to meet the horses.

On the way back to Sandfields, Ernie said ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the evening out’.

Malaika Charles, Home Manager at Sandfields, added: “We had a wonderful evening at the Cheltenham Races; it definitely brought back many happy memories for Gary and Ernie.

“Here at Sandfields, we always encourage residents to pursue new hobbies or continue to enjoy their favourite pastimes, as it’s a great way to keep the brain active and encourage reminiscence. Gary and Ernie have always loved going to the races and used to go regularly before moving into our home – so when they made the wish to go back, we knew we had to make it happen.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to the Cheltenham Racecourse for making the evening extra special – we’re already looking forward to our next visit.”

Sandfields is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, dementia, nursing and short-term respite care. The home, which features 90 en-suite bedrooms, has been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, bar, hairdressing salon and café.

To find out more about Sandfields, please call Laura Sayburn, Customer Relations Manager, on 01242 801 867, email or visit



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