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Care home resident fulfils teenage dream by getting tattoo at 77

Helen Allen got the tattoo free of charge at a local tattoo studio.
Helen Allen got the tattoo free of charge at a local tattoo studio. Helen Allen got the tattoo free of charge at a local tattoo studio.

A resident at a care home has seen her teenage dream come true after getting her first tattoo.

Helen Allen, 77, a resident at Care UK’s Foxland Grange home in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, has always wanted a tattoo since admiring one her late partner Keith Mitchell, a biker, had.

Thanks to an initiative set up by the team at Foxland Grange, where a “Wishing Tree” was installed which allows residents to suggest ideas for new things they would like to explore, Ms Allen’s dream became a reality.

Woman and man looking at camera
Woman and man looking at camera Helen Allen with Garth Cole-Jones (Care UK/Shaun Fellows) (Shaun Fellows)

With her design chosen, a small butterfly she has always admired was etched onto her right arm by Garth Cole-Jones, co-owner at Some’ink Different, a local tattoo studio in Telford, who offered the service free of charge.

“I don’t know why I didn’t get it done sooner – or why people say it’s painful,” she said.

“Although it’s hard to describe the feeling, I wouldn’t call it painful. Garth, the tattooist, made me feel so at ease, and I couldn’t believe how quick it took.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Butterfly on arm
Butterfly on arm Helen Allen with her tattoo (Care UK/Shaun Fellows) (Shaun Fellows)

Chelsea May, director of community relations at Foxland Grange, said that when Ms Allen first brought up the idea of getting a tattoo, “it was a real surprise”, but also something they “couldn’t wait to start organising” for her.

“Here at Foxland Grange, we like to help residents complete lifelong wishes. We encourage residents to dream big and share their hopes and ambitions”, she added.

“We hope Helen inspires others to make their dreams a reality, no matter their age.”

Ms May said that the Wishing Tree at the care home encouraged residents to live fulfilling lives – from flying a plane to a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

“I would like to thank tattooist Garth and the team for helping to organise the wish – this is one butterfly that Helen can keep forever,” added Ms May.