Optima Housing scheme remembers Pearl
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Residents and staff have not forgotten a much loved former colleague at a sheltered housing scheme in Birmingham.
Chiswick House, which is managed by Optima Housing, exceeded its £10,000 fundraising target in memory of community stalwart Pearl Bayliss, who worked at the scheme for an incredible 50 years plus.
Chiswick House has been fundraising for its chosen charities since 2008. Each year, residents at the scheme decide on the charities they would like to support and ways in which they can raise money. The British Legion, Help For Heroes, Macmillan are among worthy causes helped so far.
The latest event raised over £1,000 through bring-and-buy stalls, jewellery stands and putting Optima and contractor Axis staff in the stocks. The latest fundraiser took the total of money beyond the £10k target.
Pearl had worked as a cleaner at Chiswick House since 1962. Following the death of her husband Len, people at the scheme decided to raise money for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, where he had been cared for. With Pearl’s death, the event was changed to be in her honour.
Julie Monaghan, scheme manager for Optima, which is part of WM Housing Group, said: "Everyone here was devastated when Pearl passed away. She was very popular with all our residents and was always full of energy. We were determined to make it a day that did her proud, and through the hard work of everyone at the scheme we raised a fantastic amount of money."
A plaque was unveiled in memory of Pearl, and a rose was planted in her honour. They money will be donated to Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice through her husband Len’s butterfly trust.
Pearl and Len’s daughters Tracey Whillock and Penny Dudley attended the event to celebrate the longstanding contribution their mother had made to the lives of those living at Chiswick House.
Tracey said: "It was a wonderful day and the community spirit really shone through. My sister Penny and I unveiled the plaque for my mum. It was very emotional but we’re both really happy she’s being remembered in this way."
The photo (L-R) shows Penny and Tracey planting a rose in Pearl’s memory.