Local heroes have a field day opening new care home

Harper Fields, the new 80-bed care home was officially opened by two local heroes that have both shown high levels of commitment to fundraising and support of the Balsall Common community.

The opening was attended by many community groups and local healthcare professionals as well as Greg Swire, the Commercial Director of Barchester Healthcare.

The first local hero, Dr Peter Lea, was nominated for his long service as a General Practitioner and for his unwavering dedication to the borough. Peter was nominated because he is a remarkable man with a kind nature and through his good works he has contributed so much to community life.

Jackie Tomlin was the second local hero nominated for her role in the major refurbishment of the nearby village hall. Jackie was nominated because she has worked diligently for the community; running the hall on a day-to-day basis and leading two major fundraising exercises to improve the hall’s standard of facilities for everyone’s benefit.

A Champagne toast was raised to the new home, canapés made by the in-house hospitality team were enjoyed and pupils from the Heart of England School helped circulate the food and drink to guests before they toured the home.

The event was a big community affair as Gwen Meacham, who named the home, planted a rose to commemorate Barchester's 20th anniversary and the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Hawkins, planted a tree in the garden to mark Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee. Marjorie Lilley, Harper Fields’ first resident, also cut the enormous celebratory cake.

Caroline Ward, General Manager at the home, said: "This has been a wonderful occasion and we are glad that we have been able to reflect the history of the site in the name of the building including naming the suites after racecourses. Gwen Meacham’s father Albert Harper built the first equestrian centre inBritainon this site as we very happy to honour their family name.

My attention is now focused on growing our community with residents and staff to make this house a real home, and I'm sure we are going to have many more reasons to celebrate in the future!”