Theresa May delighted to return to Harwood House
PUBLISHED: 13:58 19 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:24 20 February 2013
There were some poignant moments when local MP and Home Secretary Theresa May officially opened the £2.5m Garden Wing at Harwood House, the 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, Michaels father, and late husband of Elinor.
Theresa May had cut the first sod of earth back in 2008 and was delighted to return to see the new wing.
The project was designed by Martin Lloyd. Its earth sheltered underground construction is an innovative and environmentally friendly solution for a steep sloping site. A low profile extension has created two substantial new and useable garden terrace areas, all without detracting from the beauty of the original house. Existing bedrooms have been enlarged, with additional seating areas and ensuite facilities, creating a home for residents where each room has a luxurious but homely feel. The project is part of Harwood Houses Grand Design to set new standards of excellence in the care and respect of residents in care homes.
It was a day of mixed emotions for Michael Fitch. He explained: 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.
Harwood House is located in Cookham Dean at the highest spot in east Berkshire, with beautiful views across the Thames Valley.