81-year-old woman completes lifelong wish to meet a giraffe at Chester Zoo

An 81-year-old resident at a care home was delighted when her lifelong wish to meet a giraffe was made a reality.

June Williams, a resident at Care UK’s Deewater Grange, on Chester Road, travelled to Chester Zoo and met a giraffe.

June’s fascination with giraffes began following a trip to Namibia in the mid-1980s with her husband, Barry.

June says she has always wanted to get the chance to meet a giraffe up close.

Her bedroom showcases her longstanding love for giraffes, from giraffe cushions to a collection of wooden giraffe figurines and photos and illustrations of the tall animals.

After June informed the home that she always wanted to meet a giraffe in real life, the team contacted the team at Chester Zoo and soon the day came for the giraffe feeding experience.

On the day, June sported a pair of giraffe-print socks and was accompanied by the team and her daughter, Nia, where they were welcomed by the team at Chester Zoo, before heading to the much-anticipated feeding experience with the Rothschild’s giraffes.

June also had the opportunity to take a closer look at the species’ habitats and an expert from the team was on hand to answer her giraffe-related questions.

June said: “It was a marvellous experience and more than I could ever wish for.

"Giraffes have always been my favourite animal and I've never had the chance to get up close to one before.”

The special visit was 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 – from flying on a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

Sally Cooper, Home Manager at Deewater Grange, said: “We love to go the extra mile for residents here at Deewater Grange and when June said she wanted to meet her favourite animal since childhood, we knew we had to make her dream a reality.

“Our Wishing Tree initiative is a wonderful way for residents to share their passions and ambitions and it’s hugely rewarding to be able to make these a reality.

"We are thrilled to have helped June complete her lifelong wish and it was wonderful to see the smile on her face as she met Millie and Sydney.

“I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone at Chester Zoo for making June’s day – she hasn’t stopped smiling since!”

Deewater Grange is a state-of-the-art home which provides full-time residential, dementia and nursing care.

The home has been designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, and incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities, including its own café, bar, cinema as well as a hair and beauty salon.

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