Hats and horses were the order of the day at the Ascot-themed Grand Opening of Home of Compassion care home in Thames Ditton. Caring Homes’ flagship care home in Surrey was opened by TV and radio presenter Angela Rippon. She was assisted by the Mayor of Elmbridge, Cllr. Tannia Shipley, the home’s first resident Patsy Herrod and Founder Director of Caring Homes, Helena Jeffery.
The afternoon event, held on the home’s Thameside lawn, was attended by around 130 people including neighbours and representatives from local businesses, as well as residents and their families. Guests enjoyed a drinks reception and entertainment by strolling trio, The Wandering Hands, followed by lunch on the lawn and live racing from Ascot on giant TV screens.
Home of Compassion is a landmark property in the centre of Thames Ditton and Caring Homes’ multi million pound investment includes the renovation of the 18th Century Grade II* listed main house and adjacent buildings, together with a newbuild extension. The home provides residential, nursing and dementia care for up to 78 elderly residents.
Angela and the Mayor were given a tour of the historic building before meeting the care team and residents.
In keeping with the Ascot theme, Helena Jeffery, Founder Director of Caring Homes, presented Ms Rippon with a framed photograph – showing Angela riding a racehorse named Star Performance in 1977. She congratulated Angela, who is 71, on her 50th year career in broadcasting.
Avril Jones, Home Manager at Home of Compassion, said: “We were thrilled to be able to show Angela and The Mayor our fantastic home with its beautiful rooms, superb facilities and excellent care. I know Angela has a particular interest in dementia care and she is clearly very knowledgeable about the subject and about care homes.”
Angela Rippon said: “There’s only one word that sums up what I feel about Home of Compassion and that is ‘Wow!’ I cannot praise enough the work that has gone into creating this extraordinary home. Caring Homes is raising the bar on standards in care homes, not just with the facilities and beautiful building but with Avril Jones and her care team.”
Tannia Shipley, Mayor of Elmbridge said: “I can hardly believe the transformation of the building. We are all so pleased to see Home of Compassion re-open and become part of the Thames Ditton Community again. The attention to detail in the restoration is stunning and it’s a very impressive care home with lovely rooms.”
Helena Jefferey, Founder Director of Caring Homes, said: “At Caring Homes we have always sought to combine the highest standards of care with the highest standards of service. Establishing a home of this standard requires a great deal of work by many talented and dedicated people.”