MAKING dreams come true is bringing happy memories back to life.

Two sisters brought their ponies to Lostock Lodge Care Home in Lostock Gralam as a surprise for a resident.

Winsford mum Barbara Hopping, 71, was a keen rider when she was younger and told staff she would love to spend some time with horses.

As part of Country Court Care Group's Make a Wish initiative, residents are being asked to tell staff about a special activity they'd always wanted to do or somewhere they'd love to visit.

Barbara's eyes lit up when nine-year-old Erin Brookes and her sister Jenna, 11, turned up with their ponies, Dylan and Aston.

"Barbara was thrilled," said the girls' mum Helen. "She must have spent half an hour petting, stroking and brushing Dylan. She seemed very content.

Winsford Guardian:

Barbara Hopping enjoys grooming Dylan

"It is the first time the girls have ever done anything like this. They prepared the ponies, washed them and brought all their grooming brushes."

Both girls, from High Legh, belong to the East Cheshire branch of the Pony Club.

Hale Prep pupil Erin, who has been riding since she was two, will be competing in dressage at the Pony Club's national championship at Cholmondeley Castle on Sunday, August 18.

Jenna, a pupil at The Grange in Hartford, competes in jumping competitions at local shows.

"They are both pony bonkers," said Helen. "The girls really enjoyed being at the home. They felt as though they were helping somebody, giving something back.

"Testament to the lovely nature of these two ponies, Aston felt so comfortable he fancied a roll and Dylan just stood there and loved being pampered.

"Barbara is still talking about it so we agreed that we will go back."

Barbara, from Winsford, is married and has two sons Chris and Andrew. She worked in a canteen at the salt mines and was a school cook and dinner lady.

Winsford Guardian:

Barbara Hopping enjoys pampering pony Erin with senior carer Hannah Barton

Home manager Jenny Jobber said: "Barbara had a wonderful time. "The smile on her face said it all as she groomed the ponies.

"Our Make a Wish initiative has been a great success. We've learned so much about our residents' fascinating life stories and to fulfil people's wishes is rewarding for all involved."

Resident Shelia Yale, 81, was delighted when her wish to go swimming was granted.

Off-road driving, having family tea parties and scoring goals at Sheffield United Football Club are among some of the other dreams that have come true.

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Residents' wishes are written on tags and tied to a wishing tree.

Families families are working with the care team to think of creative ways to make the wishes come true.