Students name the units for new £12m luxury care home

Students and staff at Winchester House School, in Brackley, have come up with inspirational names for the units of a new £12m care home.

Sheena Croston, the manager of Brackley Care Home, which will open in the town’s Wellington Road at the beginning of November, said: “We had some great suggestions and it was so difficult to decide on winners I have given prizes to everyone who took part in the naming competition.”

After much deliberation, she has chosen to name the upstairs dementia units the Rainbow Suite, reflecting the positive symbol of the coronavirus pandemic, and the McGowan Suite, honouring Emma McGowan, alumni and community relations manager at Winchester House, who runs the Brackley Community Dementia Friendly Choir.

The nursing and residential units downstairs are to be named the Delia Frost suite, honouring the popular matron of the former Brackley Community Hospital, and the Captain Sir Tom Moore suite, recognising the centenarian’s herculean fundraising for the NHS.

The McGowan Suite was the suggestion of Winchester House School teacher Mark Keating who said: “Emma has raised awareness of dementia both within the school and the wider community.”

Mrs Croston said: “Emma McGowan has told me she would love to come to our opening and to bring the children to sing once Covid is no longer an issue..

“I have already spoken to her about involving our residents in the choir as I am passionate about us become active in the community.”

The Delia Frost suite was the suggestion of Suzanne Gray, the school’s well-being mentor, who recalled: “Delia was the matron at the Brackley Cottage Hospital for many years, bringing many children into this world. She had a poodle called Rosie who used to wander around the wards.”

Mrs Croston said: “Delia Frost died some years ago and has no family. However, I appealed for information about her on Facebook and, it is clear from more than 50 replies, she was a much loved and respected person in the town.”

Delia Ann Domachowski, who was named after the matron, is proud to have been the 1000th baby  she delivered at the hospital.

She wrote to Mrs Croston: “I had a chat to my dad Peter Feagan and he said she was the softest sweetest lady you would ever meet. He said both Delia and Ann – a sister at the hospital – were designed to be nurses.

“I hope they would both be proud of me now nursing Dad, maybe something in my namesakes that has led me into caring roles during my life.”

Joanne Burke wrote: “Delia delivered me in 1962. She was my inspiration for becoming a nurse. From the age of 14, I volunteered at Brackley Cottage Hospital every Sunday afternoon.”

Mrs Croston said the Rainbow suite was a popular choice of several children; imaginative names not chosen included The Sunshine Home, Forget Me Not and the Dame Vera Lynn suite.

Brackley Care Home has been built by Midlands-based Deeley Construction for Kingsley Healthcare, ranked a top 20 national large care home group by the review site carehome.co.uk.

About 20 staff have already been recruited, ranging from nurses and support workers to kitchen staff and housekeepers; when the home approaches full occupancy it will employ more than 100 people.

The 66 bedroom care home features modern en-suite bedrooms.

Luxury features include a cinema room, library, café, hairdressing salon, quiet lounges and a conservatory.

Outside, there will be extensive gardens with beautiful landscape architecture, including a water feature.

CAPTION: Emma McGowan with two groups of children in the choir.