Valerie Manor residents join wedding celebrations

Residents at Valerie Manor were delighted to be included in the wedding celebrations for owner Zoë Bates and office manager Alan Fry.

Thursday, 2nd March 2017, 4:10 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Valerie Manor residents were invited to join the happy couple at St Peter's Church, Upper Beeding

In the build up to the big day, residents at the nursing and residential care home used lavender from the garden to make confetti pouches.

There was a countdown created at the home, in Henfield Road, Upper Beeding, and residents took turns to update it each day as excitement mounted.

Alan proposed to Zoë in November 2015. They wanted to include the residents in their wedding plans and invited them to join them at the church.

The happy couple, Valerie Manor owner Zoe Bates and office manager Alan Fry

Zoë said: “During the planning, we found out that the Rev John Challis, who had visited Valerie Manor for more than eight years and who was going to take the service, was to move to another parish but we were thrilled to find out that he would return to St Peter’s Church, Upper Beeding, to marry us, with one resident giving a reading.

“Some of the residents were not able to attend the service and so a Valerie Manor reception was arranged the week following the marriage for all residents, families and friends.

“On the day more than 80 people attended the Valerie Manor wedding reception with the wedding party back in their wedding outfits, a replica cake was ordered as well, which we cut in the conservatory with a glass of champagne or mulled wine.

“How special to be able to share the day again with our extended family here at Valerie Manor.”

The Valerie Manor wedding reception

Zoë has just celebrated nine years at Valerie Manor with the residents’ group, the Rabbit Hole Club, named so because of the many furry friends who visit the home’s gardens.

She said: “It was the best yet, as some residents have said, which was lovely to hear.

“Our new head chef Andy organised all the food for us and it went down a treat – we even had oyster shots, which some loved and some didn’t like so much.

“I cant quite believe I have owned and managed Valerie Manor for nine years – although it is hard work and challenging at times it is so very rewarding and still like a dream come true for me to be able to care for some of our older generation.

A knitted rabbit sitting on a hole was presented to the Rabbit Hole Club

“Of course I was supported as always by my family, who live locally and attend all events, and was presented with balloons, flowers and cards, which meant so much to me.

“What a treat as well that one of our relatives knitted a rabbit sitting on a hole ready to bring to our club. This was such a special thing to do and makes me so happy to be able to share my life with so many lovely residents and their families.”

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The happy couple, Valerie Manor owner Zoe Bates and office manager Alan Fry

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The Valerie Manor wedding reception

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A knitted rabbit sitting on a hole was presented to the Rabbit Hole Club