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"Princess Marina House means everything to me"

Everyone needs a break once in a while but when you are caring for a loved one, that respite becomes even more important.

Margaret Vaughan

Margaret Vaughan and her husband Michael were regular visitors to the RAF Benevolent Fund's respite care home Princess Marina House during the last seven years of his life.

Michael, who completed two years' National Service with the RAF, had suffered with ill health for some time and Margaret became his full-time carer. This meant the couple spent most of their time in the kitchen-diner in their home as Michael’s mobility was affected.

Margaret, 85, said: "Coming to Princess Marina House was respite for us both and we visited regularly for the last six or seven years of his life. He would come here and everybody would care for him and I could go out and leave him and he loved it. Michael was not a person who enjoyed going away on holiday.

"When you become your partner's carer you become even closer than you were before. We couldn’t have been apart so it meant everything to be able to come away for a break together. The staff here are so kind and I felt completely confident leaving Michael in their care."

Margaret has continued to enjoy her trips to the West Sussex seaside since her Michael passed away and finds comfort in the friendly staff and fellow visitors she finds there.

She said: "Princess Marina House means everything to me. It is the only holiday I get! I won't go away with the children because they would have to look after me. But I come here and I am looked after!

"I love just sitting and chatting with people and going on the outings. The entertainment is great and we always have access to the shops.

"I hope to be here for Christmas which is such a relief because it takes the stress off my family and they want to have their own Christmas without having to worry about me. This place is just wonderful and the staff are to die for!"

Anyone who has served in the RAF or their loved ones are eligible to stay at Princess Marina House. If you know someone who would benefit from a stay, click here to find out how they can book a stay.

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