Before the coronavirus pandemic 95-year old Les Hammond caught the bus twice a week to ballroom dancing sessions, but things are a bit quieter now.
Les enjoys living independently in his own home, with his family living nearby, but as he is registered partially sighted he needs a bit of help looking after the house. It takes just two hours for Louise Church of our Home Care Cleaning Service to keep on top of the housework, paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathroom. “I probably wouldn’t do as good a job as Louise,” admits Les.
Les says “I look forward to Louise’s visits. We always have a cup of tea and a chat before she gets to work. And then I try to stay out of the way and let her get on with it.” Louise says Les was one of her first clients and she has now been visiting him for nearly 11 years. Louise says she loves her job because she sees the difference her work makes to her clients’ lives.
Les was born in Northamptonshire and has lived here all his life. After active service in the war he joined his father’s business “working in everything to do with leather”. He retired from the shoe industry in 1997 and says he still looks at people’s feet to see what they’re wearing. “It’s nearly always trainers these days,” he says.
- As a Normandy Veteran Les attended several events to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014. It was a busy but emotional year for Les who says he was thrilled to impress the BBC’s Naga Munchetty with his dancing prowess at a special event organised by the British Legion in Wales. “She’s an inch shorter than me,” declares Les proudly.
- A year later Les was presented with the Legion D’Honneur by the French Consul at a ceremony in Northampton Guildhall. Sadly, Les one of only three Veterans able to attend. “When I wear my medals it’s for the chaps we left behind,” says Les, “I wear it in memory of those”.
Les says he has never done anything deliberately to stay fit, and was not all that keen on sport at school, but by keeping up with the ballroom dancing and taking his family out for meals he is able to enjoy life and is determined to make it to 100.
Find out how Age UK Northamptonshire’s Home Care Domestic Service can help you or your family with domestic tasks by calling 01604 611200.