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Garden Wing Opened at Harwood House

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(15 April 2011)

left to right Elinor Fitch, Morag Forsyth Matron Harwood House, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Michael Fitch Director of Harwood House

Rt Hon Theresa May MP Home Secretary and Minister for Women officially opened today (15 April 2011)  the new £2.5 million Garden Wing at Harwood House, the leading family-owned care home in Cookham Dean.


Theresa presented a plaque to Michael Fitch, Director and owner of Harwood House, and she also planted a tree in memory of William Fitch, former Director of Harwood House, and father of Michael Fitch, and wife of Elinor, who was present at the opening.


Speaking at the opening to residents and invited guests, Theresa said ” I am delighted to be back at Harwood House as I cut the first sod of earth in 2008 at the start of this £2.5 million project. It was difficult to envisage the new wing then and I congratulate you on this imaginative earth sheltered extension making maximum use of the sloping site and greatly enhancing the existing facilities. I have always been impressed by the high standard of care here and the very high levels of respect, dignity and care shown by the staff. ”


The recently completed extension and refurbishment project was designed by Martin Lloyd. The earth sheltered underground construction is an innovative and environmentally friendly solution for a steep sloping site. The low profile extension has created two substantial new and useable garden terrace areas, and it hasn’t detracted from the beauty of the original house. The refurbishment project included enlarging existing bedrooms, creating additional seating areas and en suite facilities in all rooms and generally creating a home for residents where each room has a luxurious but homely feel. The project is part of Harwood House’s Grand Design to set new standards of excellence in the care and respect of residents in care homes.


Michael Fitch said ”Today has mixed emotions for me. This is a place my father and I put our hearts and soul into for over 10 years, we dreamed together, we planned together and worked hard together to create a place which would set new standards of care for the elderly and those suffering from illness. We wanted it to be a place that people would call “home” and a place where people would know that they would be cared for with the highest standards of care. Regrettably my father, William, passed away last February before he could see the completion of this part of our Grand Design. The new wing has been much admired by all who come to visit us and it has gained national professional recognition as it was a Finalist In the national Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2011. But I am most proud of all the staff  for raising the bar and setting a new standard in honour and respect. A beautifully designed building would be nothing without that honour and respect.”


Harwood House is located in Cookham Dean at the highest spot in east Berkshire with beautiful views across the Thames Valley.

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