A WOMAN living in a Bridlington care home has been reunited with her family after 32 years apart.
Valerie Coe, 63, has been a resident at Rose Park residential home on Park Avenue for the past two years, but was never lucky enough to receive a visit from family.
That encouraged Paula Fillingham, who owns Rose Park along with her husband Roger - which caters for residents with learning disabilities - to try and help.
“I spoke to Valerie about her family, and with a bit of patience I found out that she may have had family still in Wakefield,” said Paula.
What followed was a trawl of the phone book, and a phone call to a Mr Coe in Wakefield, who turned out to be Valerie’s uncle. “I left a message for him to call me back, and I was put in touch with Phillip Coe, Valerie’s brother,” continued Paula.
“I explained that Valerie was in Bridlington and he couldn’t believe it - he comes on holiday here every year and stayed very close to where Valerie was.”
Phillip, his wife Marie and two of their three daughters, visited Valerie that week, and returned to the town on Saturday for a special family reunion party.
Phillip said: “It was brilliant to see her, I can’t thank Paula and all the staff at Rose Park enough for everything they have done to get us back together and for the fantastic care they have given Valerie.
“We have been coming to our daughter’s caravan at Greenacres for years and have passed the end of the street where Valerie was staying so many times without us ever knowing she was there.”
Paula, who took over Rose Park nearly three years ago, has tracked down lost relatives for residents before.
She said: “Us being able to reunite Phillip and Valerie is such a wonderful thing, and is testament to the hard work and dedication of all the staff here - the other residents have even made a banner for the party which was a great success. Everyone had a wonderful time.”