Abingdon Torchbearer makes residents’ day
An Abingdon Olympic Torchbearer made even more residents smile this week after paying a visit to a local care home.
Margaret Brown, who was the only Torchbearer running in Abingdon to actually come from the town, visited Old Station House, a care home for the elderly on Abbey Close.
As part of the visit, organised by Vale of White Horse District Council on Wednesday 11 July, a day after the Olympic Torch Relay had passed through the town, Margaret posed for photos with residents and handed the Olympic Torch around for them to hold.
The highlight of the Margaret’s visit, and the reason for the event, was when she passed the Olympic Torch to 102 year old Doris Hyde, who is the oldest of the 43 residents at the care home and has been living there for the past 9 years.
Doris, who is Abingdon born and bred, the eldest of 11 children and the mother of five, had enjoyed the celebrations when the Olympic Torch Relay passed through Stert Street on Tuesday and was thrilled when the event coordinator from the council arranged for Margaret to pay a visit to the home to allow her to hold it and feel very much part of the Olympic spirit.
Doris said: “I feel very special being able to hold the Torch.”
Louise McGowan, Activities Coordinator at Old Station House, said: “It was a magical moment of all of us, we felt very honoured to have this opportunity.”
Torchbearer Margaret Brown has raised thousands of pounds for the Jane Ashley Unit at the Churchill Hospital as well as for the new Cancer Centre and Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre. Margaret, who is profoundly deaf and who has had breast cancer herself, raised funds by abseiling down the JR and organising charity cycle rides through Oxfordshire.
Margaret, who continues to champion the needs of deaf people who have been diagnosed with cancer, said "I was pleased to be able to go to visit Old Station House and meet Doris Hyde and the rest of the residents there so that they could hold the Olympic Torch and feel that they are part of the Olympic spirit. It was a joy to see their smiling faces.”
Cllr Matthew Barber, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “We were delighted to have been able to organise this event for Doris and the other residents at Old Station House. Margaret is one the town’s most inspirational residents and we are especially thankful to her for giving up her time to let others join in with the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations.”