Wishing washing line

Pants, socks and wishes – a ‘Wishing-Washing Line’ in the supermarket can help bring residents and community together

Elsie, 96, would love to watch a dancing show; Bill, 86 would like to go out for a beer; and Ethel, 82, would like to meet an owl…

These are just a few of the wishes from local care home residents that Essex FaNs have helped fulfil.

How? By hanging the wishes on ‘The Wishing Washing Line’! – a cardboard clothes line in local supermarkets.

Busy shoppers can take in the information at a glance, and see if they can help.

It’s very easy to respond! The shopper simply turns the card over to access the name and telephone number of the care home.

“It’s great, wishes are seen and can be responded to multiple times,” explains Tony Lee who has helped set up five washing lines.

“But we’ve found that things really take off if you use Facebook too.”

The group has been blown away by the speed of response that social media can bring. Ethel asked to meet an owl in the morning and, thanks to a local bird sanctuary, had one on her arm by teatime!

By letting people know what they are wishing for, residents create a very human opportunity for connection that can really draw people in.

Are you are care home wanting to start a Wishing Washing Line? Or are you a community member who could host a Wishing Washing Line in your local area? Either way, please get in touch! mhl@city.ac.uk