A WISHING washing line has been launched in Harwich for the first time in a bid to help improve the lives of lonely and elderly residents in care homes.

FaNs Network, a part of the charity My Home Life Essex Community Association, published its first wishlist for care home residents in the town last weekend.

Four care homes have taken part with residents asking for anything from someone to talk and someone to crochet with to a Liverpool FC fan wanting to see a big football match.

Tony Lee, community networks lead for Essex FaNs, said: "The wishing washing line started in Colchester just over a year ago.

"The latest one is in Harwich, which just opened at the weekend.

"Across all of them there have been about 800 wishes from care home residents and three quarters of those have been granted - that is a huge figure.

"It could be something that was always a dream or something they couldn't do because of work."

The Harwich wishes will be on a board at Morrisons in Iconsfield Park, Dovercourt, as well as on the FaNs Network Facebook page.

Tony added: "It's already been quite successful.

"It's a lovely way of connecting the residents and the community.

"Unfortunately we still have this awful public misconception of what it's like to live in a care home and we want to redress that.

"Harwich is such a nice community, it's refreshing but not surprised to see people giving these wishes.

"The thing about the wishing washing line is when the wish is granted it's someone with an interest in that wish - that's why it's successful."

The Harwich wishing washing line has 45 wishes, including a resident who would like to fly a kite, one that wants a trip to the beach and another who wants to dance with a professional dancer.

To view the wishes visit FaNs Network on Facebook or the board at Morrisons in Dovercourt, which both have numbers for the care homes for each wish.