A Unique Legacy
John James, who is a resident at Rapkyns Care Home, wanted to leave his great grandson, Benjamin, a unique legacy, a personal gift from one generation to another. So John decided he wanted to have a portrait of himself created and that this would be bequeathed to Benjamin when he is older.
John, who suffers from a chronic debilitating disease, wanted Benjamin to have an image that would be both enduring and exceptional. Following discussions between his family and the staff at the home it was agreed that they would commission a local artist to paint John's portrait.
Having already initiated strong community links with nearby Farlington Girls School Mike Wooldridge, the Registered Home Manager, contacted their art department and asked whether its art teacher, Rosaline Sprey, would undertake this special assignment. After explaining about the painting Rosaline immediately agreed and duly visited Rapkyns to meet up with John to discuss the picture's inception.
Last week the picture was presented to John in an informal ceremony in Rapkyns' beautiful conservatory involving his family, Rosaline and staff - and John was ecstatic with the result:
'I am absolutely thrilled with it. It's a fantastic picture. I didn't realise I was so handsome!'
The story of John's portrait demonstrates how Sussex Health Care challenges popular opinion that people who live in nursing homes only lead unstimulating and mundane lifestyles. The person centred approach adopted with John is one that is based on the principles of choice and independence; it is about ensuring that people who live in all of Sussex Health Care homes continue to do the things that they have chosen and wanted to do.
Rapkyns Care Home is part of the Sussex Health Care group, an independent care home provider that operates another 14 quality care homes in the region. The proprietors Dr Shafik Sachedina and Mr Shiraz Boghani have always encouraged their homes to forge meaningful links with other organisations in the area. And Rapkyns' relationship with Farlington is just one example of how successful this has been (it already sponsors one of the school's hockey teams).
In the picture John is with his son Danny, who is holding Benjamin, and the artist Rosaline, who is holding the picture.