A SHOPPING trolley has been transformed into a portable birdcage to bring a little joy into the lives of residents of a care home.

Colin Horne, from Downton, whose wife Paula is a resident at Woodfalls Care Home, came up with the idea so that the pet budgies at the home can be transported from room to room.

Mr Horne came up with the idea after staff bought budgies Charlie and Willow for the residents but found their roomy cage too heavy to carry around without help.

“I overheard them discussing the possibility of putting the cage on a wheeled cart and I resolved to design a suitable chariot,” said Mr Horne.

“It’s lovely because now whenever you go to Woodfalls you will find this trolley if not by somebody’s chair, down the corridor or upstairs keeping somebody company.”

Mr Horne’s project began when he went to Tesco in Salisbury and explained his predicament.

He selected a suitable trolley and the store manager agreed that he could have it for free. Access Engineering, based in Downton, then donated staff’s time and expertise to level the base of the trolley so it could safely accommodate the cage.

The home’s manager, Tricia Whitston, said: “It was a big surprise for me. Colin brought the trolley in and I couldn’t believe it, I was absolutely over the moon. It’s such a lovely, kind gesture.

“I take the budgies to people in their rooms and it is a bit of normality for them; it makes it a bit homely. The birds are also a conversation starter; the residents often talk about them.”

Mr Horne said: “It has been a lot of fun. When my wife was taken ill I went into suspended animation and this is the first practical thing I have done for about nine months. I hope it is the first of many.”