Military goat butts in at new care home opening

Oak Grange, the new 70-bed care home in Chester was officially opened by Dr Peter Carter OBE, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, with a whole host of local heroes in attendance, including a military goat!

Everyone raised a toast to the new home as Dr Carter and Mike Parsons, Founder and Chief Executive of Barchester, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of Oak Grange care home. Guests then took tours of the home and enjoyed canapés and entertainment from a local barber shop choir throughout.

After Dr Carter toured Oak Grange care home, he said: “I am very pleased to have been asked to open this superb home. I am struck by the sense of space, attention to colour schemes and furnishings, as well as the concept of Barchester’s Memory Lane Community.

“More people are living longer with more complex nursing needs and we desperately need to adjust, as a country, to better meet their needs.  Oak Grange definitely sets the benchmark, which both the public and independent sector should seek to emulate.”

Oak Grange staff and residents were also delighted to have three local heroes at the well-attended event. Each hero opened one of the four care home suites along with Mel Knight, CEO of Castleoak – the specialist care development group that build the home in just 12 months.

The first local hero, Hannah Jones, 19, carried the Olympic torch through Hawarden and has raised more than £165,000 through fundraising for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (SDBTT) since she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 15. Olive Minor MBE has dedicated lots of time to the community over the years, including supporting the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, Chester Guide Dogs for the Blind and was Chairwoman of the Silver Jubilee committee 1977. Representatives of The First Battalion Royal Welsh (RWT) with their mascot William Windsor (Billy the goat) also came along the home. They frequently hold events to support for important charities like Help for Heroes in the future.

Barchester is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and Mike Parsons, said: “When Christine Hancock from the RCN opened our first care home in Gloucestershire all those years ago, we were attempting to do something different. I am glad that her successor Dr Carter can see that we are still setting the standard.”