Care home creates community garden thanks to council-won grant

Albany Care Home’s garden is designed so the elderly people living there will be able to enjoy the outdoors while watching their visiting grand-children play in a safe but exciting playground. The idea was developed after consultation with the residents and their relatives and the care home staff.

The imaginative concept appealed to a panel of assessors including representatives from Oxfordshire County Council and the Alzheimer’s Society, so after completing a questionnaire, interviews and home visits, Albany Care Home was chosen as one of 15 eligible care providers to receive a grant.

£1.53m won by county council from government

Oxfordshire County Council secured £1.53 million of a nationwide fund worth £50 million through a collaborative bid to the Department of Health with its selected partners now collectively known as the Oxfordshire Dignity Plus Programme.

The aim of the grant funding is to create additional outdoor space on the premises, and provide residents with a pleasant and stimulating environment in order to enjoy more fresh air.

The project is due for completion by the end March 2014, but there is still an opportunity for local volunteers to lend a hand with finishing touches..

Money being spent in a creative way

Teresa Mangonon, Home Manager at Albany Care Home, commented: “It’s a pleasure to be part of the Oxfordshire Dignity Plus Programme. The wellbeing of our residents is of the upmost importance to us, and this money will help to further ensure the happiness and welfare of our residents. The playground will be a great addition to our home to reinforce the family friendly environment we strive to foster.”

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "The Dignity Plus Programme is an important piece of work and I am delighted to see that the money secured via the county council-led bid to government is being spent in such a creative and beneficial way.

"I am sure people living at Albany Care Home and their visiting families will make great use of the new garden and playground and it is excellent that the home consulted with residents and their relatives about how they would like to see the grant money spent. I look forward to visiting the garden and playground in the future."