Nottingham

Friends of 80 years move into same Mansfield care home

Kathleen Saville (right) and Olive Woodward (left) Image copyright Berry Hill
Image caption Kathleen Saville (right) and Olive Woodward met in 1941 and have never had a crossed word

A pair of lifelong friends have moved in to the same care home together almost 80 years after they first met.

Kathleen Saville and Olive Woodward, both 89, became friends as 11-year-old schoolgirls in 1941.

They bonded over teasing boys and playing games and have stayed close friends ever since.

Staff at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, have dubbed them the "dynamic duo" and say you can still "see their love for each other".

'Friends in heaven'

Mrs Saville, who said she can "still pull the boys" and is "fighting for every minute", believes the key to their long friendship was that neither like arguing.

"We knew we would always be friends when we met. She means a lot to me.

"If Olive goes first she'll come back to fetch me," she added. "We're going to be friends in heaven."

Since their first meeting in their hometown of Mansfield the pair have never lived further apart than a 10-minute walk.

Mrs Woodward, a great-grandmother, joined her best friend the care home six weeks ago.

She admitted she had become depressed while at a different home away from her friend and was happy they could now see each other "all day every day".

She said: "If I'm unhappy or in trouble I only have to go to Kathleen and we'll always end up laughing."

'Two to tango'

Sally Tebbett, home manager at Berry Hill Park, said it was unusual to find best friends living together in a care home but they were both benefiting from it.

She said: "They never stop chatting and giggling. It's so endearing, they genuinely love each other and you can see that."

And their advice to anyone who wants to keep their friendship alive over eight decades?

"Put yourself out and go and see your friend," Mrs Saville said. "Don't always wait for them to come and see you.

"It takes two to tango."

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