Wishing washing line

Pants, socks and wishes – Simply stated 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 local care home residents’ wishes that Essex FaNs have hung on cardboard clothes lines in local supermarkets. Busy shoppers can take the information in at a glance. And it’s 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.