THE Mayor of Solihull, Councillor David Bell, formally opened the £1 million new extension to St Bernard’s Residential Care Home in Olton this week.
The event was to celebrate the addition of an extra 12 bedrooms to meet increasing demand in the borough, and to provide state of the art facilities to help improve their residents’ quality of life.
The annexe, which offers facilities ranging from a spa hydro-bath, wireless nurse call system, laundry, hair and beauty salon, wet rooms and a bistro, was carefully planned with support from English Heritage to ensure it closely follows the style of the original building - a four storey Edwardian detached house dating back to 1902.
St Bernard’s existing 26 bedroom building, located in the Olton Conservation Area, is believed to have been used to care for soldiers during the First World War and members of staff at the Care Home have a picture of injured soldiers taken outside the house in 1914.
Patrick Byrne, owner of St Bernard’s, said: “Apparently the house was originally owned by the Brown family and we think the photo we have is of Mrs Brown surrounded by soldiers in 1914 after the house was commandeered for use as a refuge for wounded army personnel.
“The house has also been used for physiotherapy, and as a reading room or library, and a ballroom was added just after it was built because the owners wanted to find suitable partners for their daughters. We would be delighted if any local Olton residents could fill in more of the story.
Speaking about the new facilities, Mrs Geraldine Bond, the daughter of one of the annexe’s first new residents, Ms Kate Moran, said: “St Bernard’s has been a life saver for my mother. The team understands her personality and individual needs and I haven’t seen her look so well for many years.”
St Bernard’s is a family run home which has been providing care since 1982. With the new extension the home now has 38 beds and only six remain available in the annexe. The home’s ethos is to ensure residents benefit from high standards of individual care in a homely atmosphere where they are encouraged to live as independently as they wish. Trained staff are available 24 hours a day and there is an enthusiastic activities team who have developed a packed programme for Christmas including an evening with the Moseley Village Band, a Resident’s Christmas Dinner at the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle, Mother Goose Panto, Christmas Carols, a traditional Christmas Lunch and Champagne and Canapes on New Year’s Eve.
For more information, visit the website at www.stbernardscare.co.uk or telephone 0121 708 0177.