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Close friend remembered as new ‘pub’ is unveiled

PUBLISHED: 08:27 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:27 16 June 2020

A dilapidated summer house has been transformed into a garden ‘public house’ at a care home in Lowestoft. Pictures: United Response

A dilapidated summer house has been transformed into a garden ‘public house’ at a care home in Lowestoft. Pictures: United Response

Archant

A group of friends have paid a fitting tribute to a former housemate who died of terminal cancer.

A dilapidated summer house has been transformed into a garden ‘public house’ at a care home in Lowestoft. Pictures: United ResponseA dilapidated summer house has been transformed into a garden ‘public house’ at a care home in Lowestoft. Pictures: United Response

Four men with learning disabilities have been busy during the coronavirus lockdown as they have converted a dilapidated summer house in the garden of their care home in Lowestoft.

It has been transformed into a garden ‘public house’ – complete with a well-stocked bar, mini fridge and snacks – that remembers their close friend, Andy.

Before lockdown, Alan, Leon, Grahame and Craig would regularly go to their local pub and play bingo – something which they have sorely missed.

But with the help of their support team at the care home in Lowestoft, run by national learning disability charity United Response, they worked to transform the old and unused summer house, turning it into a pub.

The pub has been named ‘The Meadows’ and it features a Norwich City scarf, which has been placed out at the front of the new venue in memory of their former housemate Andy, who died of terminal cancer in 2016.

Philip Firman, service manager at the United Response care home, said: “Transforming the pub has been brilliant for the lads and the staff.

“It has been a really great distraction and gave everyone a common goal in replacing something that was being sorely missed.

“It was also great and a fitting opportunity to remember a close friend that is sadly no longer with us, and it offered a real sense of freedom at a time when so many restrictions were being put in place.”

The ambitious group of friends at the service are already planning their next project – as they look to convert the garage into a mini mart and tuck shop for the staff and residents, complete with social distancing measures such as arrows and markings on the floor.

Longer term, they hope to open it up to others living in their cul-de-sac and possibly beyond.

Their ambition and aspirations during these uncertain times is just one example of how the United Response charity is striving to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.

At 400 locations around England and Wales, United Response is providing person-centred support to around 2,000 adults and young people with learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities – including some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

To find out more visit www.unitedresponse.org.uk


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