A war veteran has spoken of his delight after an extra care scheme he lives in was decorated with a cascade of poppies.

Carers and staff from Karbon Homes decorated the Manors in Prudhoe with poppies to mark Remembrance Day last week.

After last year’s Remembrance Day service, residents living at The Manors Extra Care scheme on Adderlane Road – a building with 46 apartments for older residents run by Karbon Homes – planned to make their own poppy cascade for the scheme.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions currently in place, residents have had to shield in their own homes.

They were left disappointed when they couldn’t decorate the scheme, as they had originally planned to do.

Resident and veteran John Johnson, 80, has lived at The Manors with his wife Celia for two years.

He served for eight years as a mechanical engineer first class in the Royal Navy from 1957 to 1965.

He served for a year on Christmas Island, testing the H bombs where unfortunately many of his colleagues and friends lost their lives.

He said: “I loved seeing the poppies, it was nice to see them with not being able to attend a service.”

Staff from Burn Brae Care, who provide on-site response services for residents at Manors, rallied to spend time on their breaks and produced the cascade now on display at the front entrance.

Scheme coordinator Lauren McKie also made her own poppies for the communal garden after realising something was needed for outside and finding some creative inspiration.

She explained the importance of Remembrance Day to the elderly folk at Manors.

She said: “This year we planned to make our own poppy cascade but sadly we were unable to.

“Since lockdown, all residents have had to stay in their own self-contained apartments and observe social distancing measures. The communal areas within the building have also been closed.

“We know, from previous years, that some of our residents like to attend local services around the town to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday.

“Residents adapted incredibly well during the first lockdown and were enjoying some realm of normality as this ended, and so this second lockdown phase has come as a bit of a blow.

“Although this year residents had to pay their respects from their own apartments, we decorated the grounds and the entrance of the building with poppies.

“It is important this year, more so than ever, that we help our residents pay their respects when they are unable to in their usual way.

“This has been a real team effort between Burn Brae Care and Karbon Homes staff to make the cascade and the poppies outside for residents, family members and staff to enjoy and, in our small way, bring the service to them.”

Singer Deborah Taylor-Smith, who uses the stage name Wor Vera, was a huge success with residents when she performed at the scheme earlier this year.

On Tuesday, she visited once again to perform a collection of hit songs from the 1940s and 1950s, much to the delight of residents.

She sang outside with speakers so that residents could listen to her from within their homes and performed a number of hits from the front and rear of the building.