Christmas memorial to Norman

Mrs Walker is presented with flowers by one of her late son Norman's friends.
Mrs Walker is presented with flowers by one of her late son Norman's friends.

A CHRISTMAS party, which is held as a celebratory tribute to the memory of a much loved son, has taken place in Markinch.

Residents and staff of the group homes - which are run by Glenrothes-based Fife Council to provide support for adults with learning difficulties and complex needs - enjoyed the event which was held at the Laurel Bank Hotel last week.

They were also remembering their friend, Norman Walker, who lived in one of the homes for eight years until he died during 2011.

Norman’s mother paid for previous events and repeated that generosity this year in loving memory of her son and to provide the residents with a good old festive party.

Mrs Walker said, “I started having the parties five years ago to celebrate my husband Jack’s 80th and Norman’s 50th birthdays.

“I thought that throwing a Christmas party for Norman and all of his friends was a good way of marking both birthdays.

“Now I want to continue with the parties to remember Norman and show my appreciation to the staff who cared for him.

“As long as I’m here the parties will still take place - there’s no reason for them not to”.

Connie Sims, who is local manager for the groups homes, said: “Everyone looks forward to the Christmas party every year and it means all the more to us now that Norman is no longer here.

“The party is a fitting way to mark the first anniversary of his death and has given all the service users and staff the opportunity to thank Mrs Walker for her generosity.”

People living in group homes are adults aged between 16 and 65 years-old who are supported to live in their own homes within their local community.

Three, four or five people live in each house with support from care workers who are always around to provide one-to-one dedicated support depending on the person’s needs.

The group homes were set up as part of the Lynebank Hospital discharge programme in the 1990s.

Residents are now well established and enjoying independent life in the community.

Norman lived in one of the Kirkcaldy homes, where he was a very popular figure.