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‘It made me feel young again’ - elderly care home residents take to the catwalk

Gemma and Pat

Gemma and Pat


The catwalk is perhaps best known for launching the celebrity careers of younger fashionistas.

All the models togetherAll the models together

But these elderly care home residents were made to feel “young again” and proved you can be just as glamorous at the other end of the age scale - by strutting their stuff for a popular Suffolk fashion show.

All eyes were on 93-year-old Kate Suckling and 80-year-old Pat Thomas when they took centre stage at the Artichoke Collection Fashion Show in Holbrook, near Ipswich.

Organisers of the event had been looking for models to showcase Artichoke’s range of dresses, tops and trousers when Gemma Dennis, deputy manager at the nearby Spring Lodge Care Home, in Woolverstone, suggested they try a different tack.

“I thought I know some amazing ladies who would love to take part from our care home, so I emailed the organisers,” she said.

Gemma and PatGemma and Pat

“So we joined forces and had a wonderful morning strutting our stuff on the catwalk.”

Ms Dennis said the day on Saturday, October 20 began with a “lovely pamper morning with make-up, hairdressing and beautiful clothing”.

Mrs Thomas said she had a “lovely morning and loved the attention of being on the catwalk”, while Mrs Suckling said: “I was over the moon and it made me feel young again.”

Ms Dennis said the event helped to bust myths surrounding older people, saying: “Just because you’re in a care home, fashion can still be very much part of who we are and make us all feel great.

Cat Walk Sarah and KateCat Walk Sarah and Kate

“Our residents had a fabulous time and we will definitely be doing something like this again.”

Joe Simoes, home manager of the Kingsley Healthcare-run Spring Lodge, added: “The residents were really happy and enjoyed all the attention they were getting.

“They had a huge smile on their faces and were overwhelmed.

“This event showed they can enjoy the catwalk as much as younger people. They knew the attention was on them and they really liked that.

Cat Walk Sarah and KateCat Walk Sarah and Kate

“They actually deserve the same attention and to have as much fun as people who don’t live with dementia.

“They deserve to enjoy themselves as much as other people.”

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