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Memorial bench in Millvina House to honour grassroots campaigner

A memorial bench has been installed at an Everton care home to pay tribute to a grassroots campaigner who had fought with the families to keep the facility open before passing away.

John Foley is a name many people in Liverpool will recognise.


In the months before he passed away in October, Foley had been at the heart of several campaigns in the city.


From saving St John’s Market, where he also traded, to helping stop the zip wire, wherever Foley went, he always left a trail of justice behind.


And that was true up until his dying day.


When news broke on two dementia care homes closing down just a year after opening, Foley was quick to offer his support to bring attention to what was going on at Brushwood and Millvina House.


It was during this time that Foley contracted coronavirus.


While in hospital, it was announced that the care homes would not be closed down for a further six months — but Foley vowed to keep on fighting with the families for residents.


Not longer after Foley passed away.


"John fought for everyone. He really was one of us."


However, his work did not go unnoticed by the families of residents, who raised money for a memorial bench, installed in Millvina House earlier this week.


Scottie Press spoke to the daughter of a Millvina House resident about Foley.


“He was a man of the people,” said Lisa Donnelly.


“He fought alongside us to keep Millvina open. I thank him for fighting for us. John fought for everyone. He really was one of us.”


Lyn Staunton, who organised the memorial bench, also thanked Foley and others who campaigned to save Millvina.


“Because of them, the families had the strength to continue the fight against the injustice of vulnerable elderly people suffering dementia or Alzheimer’s, who have no voice of their own so could not be heard,” she said.