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Families’ fury as care home residents open Valentine’s Day cards to discover they were sent by the local undertakers in ‘appalling’ stunt to ‘attract new customers’


  •  Whitegates Care Centre backed the undertakers sending the cards

The families of elderly care home residents who received Valentine’s Day cards from a local undertakers have slammed the ‘appalling’ stunt to ‘attract new customers’.

Bosses at Whitegates Care Centre in Surrey, where prices start at £1,300 per week, backed the cards – which were branded ‘misjudged and not appropriate’ by the funeral parlour responsible. 

The cards, which had a pink bow and a heart on the front, opened up to read: ‘Sent with love from T.H. Sanders & Sons.’ 

Furious relatives say the gesture was an attempt to woo new customers and some have now threatened to move their loved ones to another home.

Whitegates Care Centre, thanked T.H. Sanders which regularly sends ‘forget me not’ gifts like Christmas blankets, sweets and seeds for planting in the garden. 

The Valentine Day's cards featured an artsy drawing of a heart and a pink bow on the cover

The Valentine Day’s cards featured an artsy drawing of a heart and a pink bow on the cover

Inside, the message on the card read: 'Sent with love from T.H. Sanders & Sons'

Inside, the message on the card read: ‘Sent with love from T.H. Sanders & Sons’

The 31-bed Whitegates Care Centre where prices start at £1,300 a week for residents

The 31-bed Whitegates Care Centre where prices start at £1,300 a week for residents

They said: ‘We’re deeply embedded within the local community, and we value the support and engagement of all our neighbours, including T.H. Sanders. 

‘Out of their own kindness and goodwill, they have brought warmth, joy, and generosity to residents through various initiatives. 

‘From delivering Christmas blankets, donating to our charity raffles, sending in cards and sweets, to gifting seeds for our garden, their contributions have been received with gratitude and appreciation from both residents and our team members alike. 

‘Residents were thrilled to receive the Valentine’s Day cards and they all had a lovely day celebrating’.

The angry son of one resident said he was going to move his mother after he managed to prevent her from opening the card.

‘Luckily, we managed to hide it away before Mum could see it as it would have been devastating,’ he told the Sun.

‘It’s appalling for a directors to be trying to attract new customers by targeting vulnerable elderly people.’

Another family member said: ‘This would have caused them great confusion, upset and disappointment as often they are here after losing their life-long partners.’

T. H. Sanders has nine branches – including one in Staines – and is part of the Dignity group.

A spokesperson for Dignity said: ‘We deeply regret any unintended distress caused by the Valentine’s card sent to Whitegates Care Centre by one of our branches.

‘We are committed to maintaining a positive and respectful relationship with the communities we serve. We accept that in this instance, our efforts to connect with the local community were misjudged and not appropriate.’



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