Joyce continues to sail through her 100th Birthday Bucket List

24 April 2023

Following her adventures on horseback and a racetrack, plucky Joyce Ward left dry land for the latest challenge on her ‘100th Birthday Bucket List’

Joyce, 99, turns 100 in May and has compiled a list of 10 adventures she wants to have before her ‘big birthday’.

Helping to make these wishes come true are our companionship team here at St Catherines View.

Companion Laura Sheldrake said: “In recent months, Joyce has ticked off some amazing experiences including horse riding and even speeding around Goodwood Race Circuit.

“When she said she wanted to sail again like she did when she was younger, we said: “Right! Let’s find a boat!”

As Joyce uses a wheelchair, this was no easy feat. But the team contacted Testwood Lakes Sailability in Hampshire, to see if they could help.

Laura said: “Let’s just say they really pushed the boat out!”

Joyce Sails Towards a Century

Pauline Woodhouse from Testwood Lakes Sailability invited Joyce along to be sailed around the lake by an experienced skipper in a non-capsizable dingy.

Laura said: “When we arrived, we were greeted by Phil Rawdon who explained to Joyce what we were going to be doing and made sure all safety precautions were in place.

“Then, the receptionists Carol Roberts and Carolyne O’Hara supplied Joyce, myself and our photographer with life jackets and we were taken down to the pontoon where we were met by Donald Loines, Stephen Hiscock, John Webb and Kevin Warland, who along with Colten senior care lead Niki Lawrence made sure Joyce was transferred safely into the dingy.”

Joyce was taken around the lake by experienced skipper John Kuyser. While Maurice Humbertsone took Colten photographer Ian Simpson in a powerboat to capture stunning pictures of the special trip.

Asked how she was enjoying the experience Joyce said: “This is wonderful. I feel so special. It’s like when I went sailing when I was younger. I can’t believe this was all for me. Thank you so much!”

John Kuyser said: “It was a delight to have Joyce’s company for a sail around Testwood Lake, with some exciting sailing in a lively breeze.”

Stephen Hiscock, one of the team on the pontoon added: “I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Joyce or the rest of us! What fun it was to have her with us on the lake.”

After the sailing, Joyce was presented with a birthday cake by all the volunteers at Testwood Lake Sailabilty.

Laura said: “The weather was amazing and Joyce really did have a day to remember.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to Pauline, Phil and all the other volunteers for the wonderful day they organised for Joyce.

“To see her smiling, laughing and having fun was exactly what we wanted – These wonderful people all made her special wish come true.”

Joyce’s full bucket list is: playing a piano, going in a boat, cooking a meal for everyone at St Catherines View, using a sewing machine, a ride in a fast car, a visit to a chocolate factory, a visit to the forest, a visit to a castle, throwing an American-themed party and a steam train ride.

The Companionship team is now planning for her penultimate challenge when she will be swapping waves for tracks – and a thrilling ride on a steam train.