HRH the Duke of Gloucester officially opened a new Grantham care centre for people living with dementia on Wednesday.
The Queen’s cousin unveiled a plaque after meeting residents, staff and all those involved in creating the Apple Trees Care and Reablement Centre in Arlington Gardens, just off Springfield Road.
The 48-bed centre is run by the Order of the St John Care Trust, and has lounges and kitchen-diners designed to mirror a home environment as well as sensory gardens and themed areas focused on residents’ needs.
On arrival the Duke was greeted by representatives of Lincolnshire County Council, South Kesteven District Council, the Mayor and Mayoress of Grantham and the Chairman of The Order of St John Care Trust Don Wood CBE, who said: “His Royal Highness has opened two more of our homes previously, and as an architect has got a particular appreciation of the work.”
During a tour the Duke was presented to executives and trustees of the Order, the centre’s developers and investors, along with staff and residents including 87-year-old Bernard Knipe and his wife Margery, 88, from Barrowby.
Mr Knipe who served as a brother and officer of the Order for 60 years said he felt honoured by the Duke’s visit, and added:“The home is beautiful. I can’t find anything wrong with it. The staff are fantastic and nothing is too much trouble.”
After the Duke’s visit General Manager Denise Booth said: “It has been absolutely amazing. He made the residents and staff feel so at ease, and enjoyed learning about the home.”
Since March 15 residents have been moving over to the new centre from the Order’s old Grantham premises at Chandos House on Gorse Road.
Mrs Booth added: “I can see the change the environment here has had on the residents. It has enabled them to become more involved in daily living such as cooking, cleaning and helping each other.”
Amongst those from local government at the opening was LCC Chairman Coun Ray Wootten, who said: “I think it is a fantastic opportunity for people to stay within their home environment. The Order of St John has an excellent reputation of care in the community.”