A great grandmother from London was left speechless after colleagues at her Bupa care home arranged a surprise meeting with her musical hero, Michael Ball.
Pat Moores, a resident at Bupa Elmstead care home in Chislehurst, South East London, has been a huge fan of the singer after first seeing him in Les Misérables in 1985. She has been to see him more than 10 times since. At 86 though, she had given up on her dream of ever meeting him.
However, thanks to a campaign run by the team at Pat’s care home, she finally got the chance to meet him, and make her dream a reality.
Sally-Anne Taylor, Receptionist at Bupa Elmstead care home, said: “We run a wish granting programme for residents – if there’s something they’ve always wanted to do, we do everything we can to make it happen. It was no surprise when we heard Pat wished to meet Michael Ball. Everyone here knows that she’s a super-fan – just mention his name and she’ll start grinning!”
After weeks of working to contact Michael, Sally-Anne finally heard back after writing into his show on BBC Radio 2. As he was currently starring in Chess, the West End musical, he wasn’t able to make the trip to visit Pat but sent a personal video message and a signed copy of his album.
Seeing how delighted her mother was by the response, Pat’s daughter, Allison, booked tickets for herself and Pat so that she could see him on the stage once more. Sally-Anne got back in touch with his team and managed to arrange a surprise meet and greet after the show.
Michael greeted Pat at the stage door before presenting her with a red rose and a kiss. Michael sat chatting with Pat and posed for several photographs. Pat then also had the opportunity to meet and have photos with some of his co-stars, including Alexandra Burke.
Speaking of the surprise, Pat said: “I didn’t think I’d ever get to meet Michael. I’ve always loved his voice and his music, and it was actually quite overwhelming to finally meet him. He’s kind, charming and has a lovely smile. It’s something I’ll never forget, and I’m so grateful for everyone at Bupa for setting it up - it still makes me smile just thinking about it.”
Emma Staples, Home Manager at Bupa Elmstead care home, added: “I’m so proud of my team. A lot of work went into setting this up, but Pat’s still beaming from ear to ear, which makes it all worth it. It goes to show that being in a care home shouldn’t stop you from living your dreams.”
As well as the wish granting scheme, colleagues at Bupa Elmstead hold regular events for residents including a recent World Cup celebration and a snooker competition. The home also uses social media to help residents share photos with their families.