For Cawood House resident Jean, her family are her whole world. But she has another big love in her life – Daniel O’Donnell!
Known for his close relationship with his fanbase, and his charismatic and engaging stage presence, Daniel’s music has been described as a mix of country and Irish folk, and he has sold over ten million records to date. Jean, who’s 92, has followed Daniel around the UK to see him perform well over twenty times.
Jean has his cassettes, VHS, DVDs, t-shirts, jumpers, books – you name it, Jean has it! She has met him so many times that her family reckon he may even recognise her if he saw her. Cawood House Activity Lifestyle Facilitator, Leigh wanted to surprise Jean, so she got in touch with Daniel’s management team to explain that Cawood House is the home of Daniel’s number one fan.
On the 17th March (St. Patrick’s Day, of all days) the postman arrived with a letter addressed to Leigh. Cawood’s manager Lisa, who’s Irish, noticed that the stamp on the envelope was from Ireland. Residents and staff alike got very excited as Leigh opened the letter to find a signed photo from Daniel inside!
Jean’s face lit up as she was given the autographed picture. “It’s my Daniel“, she said, with a tear in her eye and the biggest smile on her face. Jean has hugged and kissed the photo ever since and it is proudly sitting beside her bed. For Jean, just hearing the name ‘Daniel O’Donnell’ puts a smile on her face, and encourages and motivates her to seize the day, so we want to say a big thank you to Daniel for this special gift, which means the world to Jean.
Melanie, one of Jean’s daughters said, “I can’t believe you have done this for our mum. It’s such a fantastic and personal surprise for her. I know how much Daniel means to my mum. She is besotted with him. I cannot thank Leigh enough. We were so worried about mum moving into a care home but Cawood is such a warm and beautiful place, we feel like we are part of one big family and I really can’t thank Lisa and all the staff at Cawood enough for all you do for our mum.”