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Mavis Ede holds a visiting penguin. Photo: Matthew Power Photography

Penguin duo make pensioner’s dream come true

Eighty-five-year-old Mavis Ede told carers at Care UK’s Highmarket House in Banbury that her greatest wish was to see penguins. But she got the shock of her life when the care team turned up with two friendly penguins at her doorstep.

As 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, the hand-reared Humboldt penguins, Pringle and Charlie, waddled into the home. Mavis was delighted to interact with the penguins, stroking and even holding Charlie on her lap.

Jo Pohl, home manager at Highmarket House, said that her team try to go the extra mile for residents and make their wishes come true, no matter how unusual the requests.

“Mavis has always talked about penguins with passion, so we were really excited to be able to make her dream of seeing them up close come true,” she said.

“We don’t accept that life at a care home has to be a particular way – we ensure there are no limitations to activities residents pursue and help them to lead independent, fulfilling lives, however they choose.

“Each day at our care home is different and fun, but today was something extraordinary. It was a truly wonderful moment when Mavis met the penguins and certainly created a stir in the home – we’ll be talking about this for weeks.”

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