Originally from Poplar in East London, Cicely used work for the Bank of England as an account clerk, working closely with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Her Majesty’s Treasuries. During her career, she was also involved with the Lord Mayor of London’s charity appeals in Mansion House.
Cicely met her beloved husband when she was in her early twenties at a dance at Woodford County High School. It was love at first sight and five years later, in 1960, they were married at High Beech Epping Forest. Alan also worked in banking, for Barclay’s Bank in the building opposite the Bank of England; the couple loved that they were close by to each other during their working days.
Later in their life together Cicely’s late husband, Alan, became a local councillor for the ward of Brentwood and was very involved in care in the community schemes as well as being on the planning committee.
As a couple, Cicely and Alan were very passionate about supporting local causes including local hospices, the cottage hospital, riding for the disabled, Aquacess swimming for the disabled and a number of local societies focusing on youth opportunities in the area. As a local councillor, Alan was directly involved in the establishment of the Walter Boyce Centre, as well as being involved in Hogarth and Lions. And, as part of his community outreach work he championed Crossroads, an organisation that provided relief to carers.
When her husband sadly passed away, Cicely wanted to ‘keep productive’, feeling that being at home alone offered little stimulation. The Hogarth day service appealed to her because of her late husband’s legacy connection. Her hope in attending the service was to get enjoyment from participating in the activities provided and to make new friends.
The ECL Older People’s team worked with her to create a person-centred support plan to support her to occupy her time doing things she enjoys. They made sure that this support not only ensures her emotional wellbeing but also making sure that she continues to have access to the local community that she loves.
Cicely has said that attending the service positively impacts her emotional wellbeing and prevents her from feeling low and she is enjoying socialising with the other customers and staff. Although she can no longer indulge her passion for needlework due to arthritis, the centre supports her to continue her creative passions in other ways, including participation in arts and craft sessions, and flower arranging. They also support her to continue to get enjoyment from her love of reading as well as maintaining her interest in politics and history.
The care staff say that she has settled into the service very well. The history behind the Walter Boyce centre and her memories of her life with her late husband are popular discussion points with the other customers. Cicely says she is enjoying being involved in her community again, just like the ‘good old days’.
Annette Caryl, Team Leader at Hogarth at Walter Boyce Day Opportunities said: “Cicely and her children have shared with us their fond memories of Alan talking about the Walter Boyce Centre and how he felt that it was a fantastic facility within his ward. He used to say that it was ‘big enough to make a difference to a lot of people, but small enough to keep a family, small town atmosphere, and personal feel.’
“The couple were clearly devoted to each other, their family, and their local community. Cicely’s children have said that she is very proud that she now attends a centre that is the legacy of her late husband. And told us that they are also proud that the day service she attends exists thanks to the work of their late father.”