Eileen, 95, gets the VIP treatment as she joins distinguished guests to open new luxury care home in Swanley

A new luxury care home has opened in Swanley with a special VIP event. Birchwood Heights care home on Hilda May Avenue was officially opened by Deputy Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Angela Newey, and resident Eileen Williams.

The purpose-built home is run by Oakland Care and offers all-inclusive residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 77 residents. Guests were treated to a champagne reception on the patio and a tour of the home which features a cinema room, hair and beauty salon, a barber’s, air-conditioned lounges, a dedicated consulting room for health appointments and landscaped gardens.

As the home’s first resident Eileen, 95, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon. She was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Oakland Care’s Chief Executive, Joanne Balmer, and also cut a cake made for the event by the home’s catering team.

Eileen came to Birchwood Heights from West Sussex to be closer to her family. “It was lovely to be involved in the ceremony, I felt like a VIP!” she said. “I’ve settled here very well. It’s a beautiful home and it’s nice to have company after living on my own for some time. I also get to see my daughter much more than I did, which is wonderful.”

Fifteen residents now call Birchwood Heights home since its doors opened in May. It has created 40 jobs for the area and when the home is full, staff numbers will reach 100. The opening event also included the Mayor of Swanley, Lesley Dyball, and members of the community, with entertainment from harpist, Mark Levin. Home manager, Harry Garston, a former infantry officer with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said the event has cemented Birchwood Heights’ place in the community.

“We are extremely grateful to Lady Newey DL for opening the home,” he said. “It’s been fantastic to invite people from the area to come to see it for themselves. “We are very proud both of the environment we have created and the standards of care we offer at Birchwood Heights. Our residents have settled in to life here so quickly, they feel
completely at home, and it’s lovely to see friendships developing.

“We’ve also welcomed some excellent new members of staff and as our occupancy grows, there will be many more opportunities for people who want to have not just a job in care, but a career with potential for development.” Oakland Care has recently opened a second home in Kent; Maplewood Court in Maidstone offers the same luxury environment and all-inclusive care for up to 72 residents.

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