Joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of Tonbridge, the leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, local councilors and trustees of Abbeyfield Kent, the charity and housing association marked its new care home nearing completion with a Topping Out Ceremony.
Guests gathered at the site of the new care home in Tudeley Lane, Tonbridge, on Friday 22nd April, to celebrate the milestone of reaching the highest point in the construction.
Former Abbeyfield Kent Chairman and current Trustee, Bobby Barnes, spoke of the honour of having the care home named after him, before the group headed to the site for a tour of the new build, which is scheduled for completion in the summer.
Once complete, Barnes Lodge, which is being constructed by specialist care contractor, Lawrence Baker, will comprise 101 en suite bedrooms, with an excellent range of communal facilities, including themed shop and library areas, a hair and beauty salon, landscaped gardens and multiple living areas.
In his speech at the event, Bobby said: “I have had the great privilege of being Chairman of the Society for over 14 years stepping down a year or so ago, and handing on the proverbial baton to Zach Miles. Zach will carry the Society forward in its next stage of growth and development and I can tell you we have some very exciting projects on the stocks.
“I am incredibly proud to have been given the very singular honour of having this building named for me. I say this because it is a reflection of our flexibility, driven by the constant desire to provide care, compassion and companionship to older people in Kent and beyond.”
Work commenced on Barnes Lodge early 2015, it will be part of the combined £18.3m project, comprising the new care home and a new extra care scheme. Barnes Lodge is being constructed on a new site adjacent to the Society’s existing residential home, Woodgate. Upon completion, residents of Woodgate will move across to Barnes Lodge and the existing care home will be demolished to make way for the extra care scheme.