Formula One fan meets a real-life racing driver at Gillingham care home

A FORMULA One fan at a Gillingham care home was transported to the racetrack during a visit by a real life racing driver.

Joy, who lives at Fern Brook Lodge in Gillingham, took to the start line against Mike Wilds using a Formula One-themed Scalextric set after hearing about his life and career.

The motor racing fan also got a close-up look at Mike’s personalised racing suit and helmet.

Mike told Joy about 24 Hours of Le Mans being his favourite race due to a 3.7-mile section of the track called the Mulsanne Straight which enables cars to pick up speed.

The visit was organised in response to Joy’s special wish which was to meet a racing driver as she has watched the Formula One on TV for many years.

“It was a great pleasure to meet Mike,” she said. “I never expected this to happen. I just couldn’t believe it.

“I don’t think I’m ready to race him in a real car just yet.”

Joy also looked at pictures of some of the 150 different cars he has driven during his 59-year racing career.

Mike said: “It was an honour to be invited to meet Joy at Fern Brook Lodge who asked me lots of questions about my favourite races and what it’s like to sit in a Formula One car.

“I am glad that I could help to make her special wish happen and have already agreed to come back to the care home soon to give a talk to the other residents.”

Deb Wiltshire, home manager at Fern Brook Lodge, said: “We were thrilled to make Joy’s wish come true by Mike coming to talk to Joy about his racing career, which she absolutely loved.

“It was very entertaining to see Joy racing Mike on the Scalextric.

“At Care South, we pride ourselves on getting to know the individual likes and dislikes of the residents in our care, including any dreams and wishes that they may have, in the hope that we can safely make them happen.

“It was lovely to see Joy having a fantastic day thanks to the kindness shown by Mike coming in to visit her to talk about their shared interest.”

Fern Brook Lodge is a recently-refurbished Care South home for residential and dementia care in Gillingham.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.