Robert and Katy’s ‘larger than life’ characters are celebrated

20th September 2019

Robert and Katy were both larger than life characters, and members at Donec Mews came together to celebrate the joy and laughter they brought to their home.

Robert had lived at Donec Mews for four years and passed away very unexpectedly in July, at the age of 53.

We spoke to service manager, Karen Bond, about the special memories Robert brought to Donec Mews.

“Robert was a big character at Donec, he absolutely loved Elvis Presley and going on trains.

He was a lovely, charismatic person who really loved life. Any new experiences he really enjoyed, like when he went to Goodwood. Everyone at Donec is really going to miss him.

Robert’s sister, Helen, said: “Since Robert moved to Donec Mews, his life has been full of happiness, laughter and adventure. The team at Donec is amazing and everyone has a heart of gold, and they have played a part in making Robert’s life the best it could be.”

Katy came to Donec Mews as a child and for her, Donec Mews has been the only home she has ever known.

Because of this, the team made sure she ended her life surrounded by the people she loves.

Donec was FitzRoy’s first ever service, opened in 1962 by our founder Elizabeth FitzRoy. At the time it was a children’s home and when it came up for sale, Elizabeth was undaunted by the cost and the commitment and she raised the money through her contacts and fundraising. She knew that the best care and support for people with learning disabilities came from living in a safe, loving and supportive home.

Karen said: “Katy was able to end her life at Donec Mews in May due to the dedication and commitment of the team. She had lived at Donec since 1973 so it was her last wish to spend her last few days in the only home she had ever known.

She was so friendly and always loved to ask people about their families. She was a great friend to a lot of people here and will greatly be missed.

Katy loved horses and staff at Donec Mews made sure horses were a part of Katy’s final send off.

Karen continued: “The support the team gave to both Robert and Katy’s families was fantastic, making this really horrible situation a little easier for them. Both wakes were at Donec Mews at the request of the families, and staff catered and organised these too.”

Katy’s sister, Lisa, said: “Karen and all the staff at Donec put in such hard work to make Tuesday special, it was such a lovely occasion.

“It was lovely to see so many people at the church and at Donec – Katy definitely would have been beaming. Everyone worked so hard organising the food and made everyone feel so welcome at Donec.

“My son commented about how lovely Katy’s home was and how friendly and welcoming everyone was.”