Magical surprise for 92-year-old Banbury ballerina

A Banbury care home has surprised a 92-year-old resident with a trip to the ballet, that came with an extra-special finale in the shape of a private meet and greet with the stars of the show.
Kate as a child ballerinaKate as a child ballerina
Kate as a child ballerina

The team at Care UK’s Highmarket House, on North Bar Place, runs a Wishing Tree initiative to help make residents’ wishes come true.

They decided to surprise resident, and former dancer, Kate Chappell with a special trip to see the festive ballet, The Nutcracker and I, on the Main Stage at Warwick Arts Centre, to make her dream come true.

As an extra surprise Kate then got to meet Alexandra Dariescu, the pianist, and Immie, the ballerina after the show.

Kate and friend Peggy meet Alexandra Dariescu, the pianist, and Immie, the ballerina after the show.Kate and friend Peggy meet Alexandra Dariescu, the pianist, and Immie, the ballerina after the show.
Kate and friend Peggy meet Alexandra Dariescu, the pianist, and Immie, the ballerina after the show.

Jo Pohl, home manager at Highmarket House, said: “Residents are at the heart of everything we do here at Highmarket House, and we always like to go the extra mile to grant their wishes.

"I am delighted that we were able to make Kate’s wish of enjoying a day at the ballet a reality.

"It really was a beautiful afternoon which everyone thoroughly appreciated, and it was made extra special when members of the Ballet Company joined Kate for a private moment at the end of the performance.”

Kathleen, known as Kate to her friends, is originally from Whitby Bay, Northumberland, and started ballet when she was a young child.

She always wanted to pursue it as a career, although her father thought it was a risky career choice, and encouraged her to become a shorthand typist instead.

Kate met her husband Charles at a dance, they married and now have three children, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren together.

Kate loved her ballet classes as a child and always wanted to perform on stage. Her mother, Nora, used to travel with Kate to London by train, so she could take her ballet exams. Even now at 92 years of age, Kate will often be the first up on the dance floor.

To find out more about Highmarket House care home, email Marisa Ramos, customer relations manager, at [email protected] or call 01295 297 652.

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