VILLAGERS rallied round to help care home residents left in the dark over Christmas.

The high winds caused a power cut during the night on December 23 at The Grange Nursing Home, in Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, which lasted for three days.

The 25 elderly residents had to remain in their beds to keep warm, while staff turned them regularly to prevent bed sores.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) delivered a generator just before 9am on Christmas Day, but was unable to connect it, and the home’s power was not restored until 4.30pm on Boxing Day.

The community offered its support after word about the power cut spread.

Alina Gruia, deputy manager at the care home, said: “People from the village and surrounding areas started to come with blankets and heaters which was brilliant. They did a really good job.

“The staff came in from home voluntarily and they did a really good job. Christmas in the dark is not nice but we tried to make it as good as possible.”

She added: “We are definitely not happy. It took three long days and obviously we should have been a priority.”

Fortunately the residents were able to enjoy a hot Christmas dinner as the home’s cooker runs on gas and a generator was used to supply light and power to the appliances.

Ray Williams, 72, from Sherborne St John, came to the nursing home to comfort his wife, Sue.

He said: “With the corridors being so narrow and dark, it was like walking through tunnels. The nursing staff were going around with torches on their heads.”

His son Clive, 50, from Odiham, said: “I thought it was a bit outrageous that it took that long to bring back power to a home that has 25 people. The thing that struck me, when we brought her back on Christmas Day, was how cold it was.”

Sharron Miller McKenzie, press officer at SSE, said that restoring power to the home had been a priority.

She added: “Nevertheless we completely understand that this must have been a very difficult time for a group of people who rely on electricity for their basic needs and for that we really do wish we had been able to get the power restored sooner.

“We did everything we could to restore it as quickly as possible.”