Donna Measor Robinson, activity coordinator at Dinsdale Lodge, was inspired by residents when they told her that they would like to experience the Emmerdale Studio Experience Tour.
Donna’s first challenge was to find accessible transport for wheelchair users. Longlands Travel, based in Middlesborough, provide Minibuses with experienced and reliable drivers, all of whom have been DBS checked. They quoted £270.00 for the journey which meant that Donna had a second challenge to meet.
On Saturday 19th August she organised a summer fete to raise the funds needed for the trip. Residents, their friends and relations and staff at Dinsdale Lodge all enjoyed the raffle, tombola, face painting, jewellery stall and a cake stall, and they raised £271.00 to cover the cost of the bus.
Just four days later, seven residents set off from Dinsdale Lodge for Emmerdale. Excitement mounted as they chatted on the bus, wondering if they might see someone famous. They were in luck, the fire alarm had gone off in one of the studios, so when they arrived they were rewarded with a brief view of Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), Ross Barton (Michael Parr) and Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan) who were outside.
Residents enjoyed the tour which took them on a journey behind the scenes including a chance to sit in the, much loved, Woolpack. The tour showcases full scale set reconstructions, preserved props and costumes, and the secrets behind how stunts are performed and special effects used.
At the end of the day, they all ate fish and chips in the cafe before heading back home.
The seven lucky residents (some of whom have a dementia diagnosis) have since enjoyed sharing conversations about their visit to their favourite TV set.