Kettering gardener pots cash for beloved wife's care home

The money will be used to buy a 'magic table' for residents

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 6:20 am

A loving husband has put his love of gardening during lockdown to good use by growing funds for his wife's care home in Kettering

Kevin O'Neil's love of flowers had left him with hundreds of surplus plants and shrubs so he offered them for sale outside his Milldale Road home.

Now the green-fingered husband and father-of-two has presented the staff and residents of Thorndale care home, where his wife is a resident, with a donation of £1,749.40.

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Jean O'Neill with daughter Karen Harrison with the Thorndale staff and residents

At a special thank you tea party, Kevin's daughter Karen Harrison and wife Jean were thanked on his behalf for the gift that will help pay for specialist equipment.

Karen said: "He loves his garden, it's his passion. He loves flowers. He had no room left in the garden so he sold off his plants.

"With mum in the home it's given him something to do. He's been lost without mum.

"When people came to buy the plants he really enjoyed talking to them. I think he's going to do it again next year."

Kevin and Jean O'Neill

Wife Jean lives with dementia and although still loves walking, dancing and seeing her family sadly there are times when she does not recognise them.

Devoted Kevin visits Jean every Tuesday and the couple still enjoy sharing time together in the large grassed gardens.

The couple who will have been married for 51 years this year, have two children, a son Martin and a daughter Karen who visit every week - they remember her as being a very loving mum.

Kevin's donation will mean the home has nearly £4,000 now in their donation pot and are now well on the way to buying the 'magic table', a large interactive touchscreen device for residents to use.

l-r Jemima Adams (manager), Jean O'Neill, daughter Karen Harrison and Jane Harris (Shaw Healthcare relationships and sales manager)

Home manager Jemima Adams said: “I was completely shocked when Kevin told me what he had raised, what a fantastic achievement. We are overjoyed to accept and add to our funds for our magic table, thanks to Kevin.”

Kevin and Jean on their wedding day