'It was so lovely' - Father and daughter finally reunited after year apart

Raymond Bartlett and Carole Todd, from Hopton

Ritson Lodge resident Raymond Bartlett reunited with his daughter Carole Todd in her garden. - Credit: Ritson Lodge

A father and daughter who have been kept apart for a year despite living five minutes away from each other have finally been reunited as families were able to meet outside care homes.

Raymond Bartlett, a resident at Ritson Lodge Care Home, in Hopton-on-Sea, met up with his daughter Carole Todd in her garden on Friday.

The government announced that from May 4 care home residents would be able to leave to visit a friend or family member without having to isolate when they returned.

Care homes have been finalising their guidelines for outdoor visits this week with the weather also hampering meet ups between loved ones.

On Friday, the 92-year-old was able to take the five minute trip to his daughter's garden where he was greeted by his cat Teddy.

Ms Todd said: "It was so lovely, it seems a little bit more like the world is going back to normality.

"Just to have him in the garden, he could have a cup of tea and cake. It was nice for him to get out after being inside for so long.

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"He looks so well."

The family has been able to see him through the pandemic, but said it could be a struggle on the phone or through a screen due to Mr Bartlett's hearing.

Ms Todd said: "Between us we would go to see him every other day. It has been very strange not seeing him. 

"I could take the girls and we used to go and see him and get involved with the lovely activities. If they had a singer on a Saturday afternoon we would sit and watch with him."

The retired Vauxhall mechanic, who previously lived in Lowestoft, added: "We sat and had a chat. It was a lovely change."

Mr Bartlett, has two children, five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, and will celebrate his 93rd birthday on May 27. 

The homes manager Jo Head said: "I think everyone is really looking forward to it. The weather has not been our friend this first week. Inside visits still are the priority for most people but it is lovely to hear people have future plans and as it gets warmer a lot of people will go outside." 

Have you been able to reunite outside with a loved one? Get in touch by emailing clarissa.place@archant.co.uk