East Carleton care home remembers much-missed volunteer
A much-missed volunteer at a south Norfolk care home will forever be remembered thanks to a surprise gift of festive decorations which had travelled almost 6,000 miles.
Staff at The Grove Leonard Cheshire Disability home, in East Carleton, were overwhelmed just before Christmas when they received a parcel of presents and colourful decorations posted all the way from Japan.
In September 2007, a 24-year-old Japanese man called Keishi Morishita arrived at the home, near Hethersett, as an overseas volunteer and stayed for two years, working alongside carers providing support for its 28 residents.
He left the UK in September 2009, but was due to return in February last year. However, staff heard the devastating news just two months after his departure that Keishi, who lived in Nagasaki, had died of natural causes aged just 26.
The heartbroken residents compiled a book of condolence, which was posted to his family, and a Japanese garden Keishi had created in the home's grounds was also turned into a memorial.
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Then just as The Grove began gearing up to celebrate Christmas, a package arrived unexpectedly from Keishi's mother filled with baubles and wreaths to decorate the home with and gifts which included a pen and pencil set for every member of staff and a flannel and hand towel bundle for every resident.
Brian Laws, Beech team leader at The Grove, said: 'It was amazing to see that everyone had been given a present. We were completely blown away by it. It was overwhelming for us.'
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He added: 'He (Keishi) was the most charming, most loving person you could want to meet.'