The first week with our POD open……

My word – I have not seen so many smiles for such a long time – the visitors POD really has changed the lives of our residents and relatives. It makes me incredibly emotional to hear some of the comments and read the emails that we have received in relation to people being able to have a more meaningful visit.

‘Just wanted to say that the Pod is a triumph! Everything worked perfectly – Mum could hear me clearly, and I could hear her fine. Since I had no mask, and could sit comparatively close – a normal distance, we talked much more naturally. I think a really big factor is that she was warm and comfy, so she seemed much happier and more talkative. I think it’s an amazing thing that everyone has done, and the structure itself is most impressive as well. So huge thanks to everyone, and I look forward to visiting Mum next week more than ever!’

‘Wow Zoe what a lovely experience it is in the pod. Just got back from seeing dad, it was so nice not to shout and keep repeating myself. Dad said nice to see your face. What a Credit the pod is to you and  everyone involved. Thank you, thank you so much. Can’t wait for my next pod experience.’

‘Just wanted to add my voice to the praise for the Pod. It’s really wonderful. Not having to wear a mask made a real difference – Mum could see when I was smiling at her. A wonderful achievement by all concerned. Well done! And a big thank you.’

‘I had my first visit in the pod today and it is FANTASTIC!  The audio equipment made a tremendous difference. My father was a bit doubtful about having headphones on but he soon forgot as we were able to have a conversation in a way we haven’t been able to enjoy for such a long time . Heartfelt thanks to everyone in Operation Pod – at last something good out of all this gloom and despair.’

‘Just to say, I had my first visit in the POD yesterday, all went very well, lovely to not be wearing the mask! ‘

Thank you to Jane for more artwork for the POD – stunning! 


Valerie Manor DIY – SOS. Visitors POD Day 1! Thank you isn’t enough…….

Where do I start? This is going to be a long one! Here are just a few words of thanks from some of our residents and staff: 

And some of our relatives………….

“To Timberrooms and all the generous local companies, contractors, organisations, material suppliers, volunteers and individuals associated with building and finishing Valerie Manor Visitors POD:

Please accept our sincerest “Big Thank You” to all those who have taken part in building and providing a truly wonderful POD for Valerie Manor residents to meet safely with their relatives.  It will mean so much for our 91 year old Mum “Brenda Wilson” to be able to see her son (John) and daughter (Tina) in the flesh without face masks or through a computer screen after 8 long months.  There will be tears of joy, air kisses and virtual hugs, with just so much pleasure and a true sense of wellbeing for all involved.  Thank you and Thank you again from our family….Brenda, John and Tina xxx”


“Could we as a family thank everyone for helping with the POD construction. It means so much to be able to see our loved ones. We are truly grateful to you all. Best wishes.”


“With the onset of winter, we were deeply concerned as to how we would be able to meet with our loved one whilst keeping them safe.

The Provision and Construction of this amazing Pod is nothing short of a miracle. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and everyone involved in the project.  Zoe, Alan and all the staff have worked tirelessly to maintain the physical and, vitally, mental well being of the Valerie Manor Family and the Pod will be a tremendous boost to moral.

A neighbour of ours recently remarked that the virus has brought humanity together but humans further apart. This Pod has shown that Community Spirit can, at least, ease the pain of separation, especially for our elderly relatives and their families. It may not be able to facilitate much missed hugs and kisses, but it has provided a sanctuary for maintaining much-needed human contact.

Thank you.”

Opening Day! 

Pictures say it all! 

Just a few thank you’ s on our journey:

Final touches………

Hanging baskets and planters kindly donated by Donovan J & D Flowers………….stunning

Painting kindly donated by local artist Jane Colthup: 07423 051551

Volunteers – Wow just wow -I hope I don’t miss anyone out:

The main man himself! 

James Wilmot – Timber rooms with who this project would not have been possible

Kelvin Maddox, Ryan Geal, Al Beazley, Matt Hodson – electrician, Dave Neale, Peter Carter, Alex Bishop, Ben Midgeley, Cameron Baldock, Tom Owen, Ashley Dawe, Tony Yeowell, Tim Yeowell, Ben Cooper, Nigel Howell, Malcolm Quigley, Bradley Hampton – Plasterer, Adam Cliffe – provided multi finish (Plaster)

Food deliveries – Martina Osei-Bobie, Hilary Stevens, Kay Kennedy, Jayne Williams, Kate Hewitt

Businesses – Benchmark Windows, Gardner & Scardifield, Southdown Flooring, Steyning Rugby Club, Barry – Maple Electrics

Neil Pringle –

Here is some of the journey – also captured on BBC Radio Sussex.

BBC Radio Sussex and our Visitors POD! Also a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

We are also generating a gallery of the journey…………….From myself, Alan and all the residents, relatives and staff of Valerie Manor – Thank you to our local Community and team of volunteers for making this possible……


You would have seen our previous post for the history behind the Lantern project……….I’m sure you will agree they really are quite stunning and we are going to miss them when they are gone. Thank you for allowing us to be part of the project.