ELDERLY residents at a care home were thrilled to finally be able to see their families for the first time since lockdown.

Since March residents at Hope House care home in Clayton-le-Moors have had no option but to keep in touch virtually, via phone, computer and tablet to protect themselves from the risk of coronavirus infection.

Now though they have finally been able to come together in the home’s garden.

Evelyn Corris, 99, who was able to see her two children Derek and Jean on Friday, said: “The toughest thing about lockdown for me is not being able to cuddle my family, I’ve not been able to do it for such a long time.

“The second toughest thing is not being able to see my hairdresser. I might be 99 but I love having my hair cut and looking my best.

“When I look in the mirror I think to myself ‘oh heck’, and the staff always say I look beautiful but they must be pulling my leg.”

Son Derek said: “After months of looking through a window, it's wonderful to be able to see mum in the flesh outside in the fresh air.

“My sister Jean and myself have visited mum’s window regularly to keep her in good spirits, thank goodness she has a ground floor room."

Visits to the home remain subject to a series of strict infection control criteria, including temperature checks on arrival and wearing the correct PPE, which the home says they can provide.

Home manager at Hope House Cathy Yates said: “Being able to welcome back families to Hope House care home was a long-awaited day by us all.

“Though we have done our very best to keep everyone in touch virtually, being able to spend time with each other in person again has been priceless for our residents and their relatives.

“We’re blessed to have a spacious garden to host a family member at a safe distance and look forward to seeing more faces very soon.”