Catherine House Care Home, nestled in the heart of Frome, Somerset, recently had the joyous privilege of celebrating the remarkable 103rd birthday of Gladys Ellis.

Born in 1920, Gladys spent most of her early years in Guildford, surrounded by the love of her four siblings – two brothers, and two sisters. Her life took a brave turn during the Second World War when she proudly served in the Women’s Land Army on a farm near her hometown. Amidst the wartime challenges, Gladys often recounted tales to her two sons about witnessing the haunting “London Burning” scenes near the A31 during the blitz.

In the blissful October of 1949, Gladys tied the knot with her beloved Ron, marking the beginning of a love story that would span over six decades. The couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with immense joy in 2009. Their family grew with the arrival of their first son, Michael, in 1950, and their second son, Barry, in 1953. Gladys, a devoted wife and mother, juggled multiple cleaning jobs, including the homes of several teachers at Merrow Street Primary School. She later worked at Park Lane Mushroom Farm in Merrow to continue supporting her growing family.

In 2018, due to cognitive decline and other health challenges, Gladys found solace and care at Catherine House. Since her arrival, she has seamlessly become an integral part of the Catherine House family. Gladys retains a gentle and shy demeanor but cherishes the company of fellow residents in the communal lounge, who are fondly referred to as family members. In the quiet moments, she finds comfort in watching television in her bedroom. Eager to engage with her companions and despite her 103 years, Gladys enjoys actively participating in the home’s activities.

Her days are brightened by the regular visits from her youngest son Barry, and daughter-in-law Yvonne, creating cherished moments of love and connection. Gladys has also had the joy of welcoming 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren into her life! At Catherine House, Gladys continues to thrive, surrounded by care, warmth, and the enduring sense of belonging that defines this loving community.

Catherine House Care Home embraces an individualised approach to care. Recognising the uniqueness of each person, the care home values their life history and personal journey. By
fostering a sense of safety and companionship, Catherine House creates a space where everyone feels embraced and never alone.