Foxearth Lodge Care Home in Woodbridge Suffolk is delighted to share the heartwarming story of resident Derek and his memorable experiences with former professional darts player, Kevin Painter. 

Derek, who moved into Foxearth Lodge on September 3, 2022, has always had a passion for darts, having played at a county level. During a conversation with Sarah from the activities team, Derek shared his enthusiasm for watching darts on TV and mentioned his favourite player, Kevin Painter, unaware of the extraordinary connection that would soon be revealed. 

Unknown to Derek, the home’s Clinical Lead Jayne is Kevin Painter’s partner. Kevin, renowned for winning the Players Championship Final in 2011 and competing in the legendary 2004 World Championship final against Phil Taylor, was more than happy to make Derek’s dreams come true. 

Initially, Kevin signed a photograph for Derek, which brought him immense joy. Later, during the World Senior Darts Tour, several darts legends signed a program for him. 

The most exciting moment came when Kevin managed to visit Foxearth Lodge and meet Derek in person. Derek was thrilled with the visit, and his happiness reached new heights when Kevin surprised him with a FaceTime call on his 80th birthday. Derek’s daughter, Catherine, expressed her gratitude, saying, “It was amazing that Kevin Painter took time out to call Dad on his birthday. His visits and signed photo mean so much to him as a former team member of the Bedfield Crow team.” 

Jayne reflected on the experience, “It was lovely to play a small part in making Derek’s 80th birthday special.” The activities team echoed this sentiment, noting how touched Derek was by the video call, with tears of joy in his eyes. 

In addition to these heartfelt moments, Foxearth Lodge is proud to announce the donation of a ‘Flexiboard’ by Chris ‘Thrasher’ Millen. This specially designed board allows individuals who cannot stand to play darts from a seated position, promoting inclusivity for all abilities. Chris, who faces his own health challenges, is dedicated to ensuring every darts academy in the country has a Flexiboard. Thanks to his generosity, Foxearth Lodge is now the first care home equipped with this innovative board. 

Foxearth Lodge is committed to enhancing the lives of our residents through meaningful activities and experiences. Healthcare Homes and the team at Foxearth Lodge are incredibly grateful to Kevin Painter and Chris Millen for their contributions, which have significantly enriched Derek’s life and the community at Foxearth Lodge.