Local hero's art thrills at Hurstwood View's opening

Hurstwood View, the new 55-bed care home in Five Ash Down, East Sussex, was officially opened by local artist and self-confessed thrillseeker, Barry West.

Many healthcare professionals, groups and members of the local community as well as Mike Parsons, the Founder and Chief Executive of Barchester Healthcare, toured the new home, which will provide nursing, residential and dementia care to the neighbouring area.

Barry West was nominated as a local hero to open the home. At the age of 19, Barry was involved in a car accident. He was paralysed from the chest down but able to make head movements. A few years ago, Barry discovered a talent that he didn't even know he had. Before his life changing accident, Barry had never painted. It was 15 years later when Barry gave mouth painting a go, and, it turns out that Barry has an incredible eye for art. This coupled with his love of all things adrenaline-fuelled, from sky-diving and skiing, to mountaineering and abseiling, means that Barry has lots of exciting experiences to draw inspiration from.

Everyone raised a toast to the new home as Barry snipped the ribbon using mouth scissors to officially open the stunning new home. Guests admired Barry’s painting of his ascent of  Ben Nevis with his Westy 's  Warriors, which is on now on display at the home and  will be changed each month to feature his other  local artists. Guests enjoyed canapés made by the in-house hospitality team and entertainment was delivered from a harpist and brass band.

After cutting the ribbon, Barry West said: “It is wonderful to be asked to open Hurstwood View. Today has been about the inspirational work Barchester does, and, as we toured the home, the Mayor and I were struck by the quality environments that have been created for those people with different care needs.”

Jane Higgins, General Manager at the home, said: "I was delighted that Barry opened the home and has agreed to display his paintings for residents and visitors to enjoy. We will definitely support him when he makes a chin-controlled ascent of Kilimanjaro.

“At Hurstwood View will now focus on growing our community with residents and staff to make this house a real home.”

The little girl,  Lucy Woolgar ,that named Hurstwood View cut the celebratory cake and Noele Austin's Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog  Marney was made a huge fuss of, too.