Struggling Peterborough care home Florence House needs ‘miracle’ to stop its closure

A miracle is needed to save a closure-threatened care home in Peterborough, say managers.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 5:02 am
Florence House at Park Road EMN-210507-161113009

Florence House, in Park Road, has been earmarked for closure by its owners, the national charity Pilgrims’ Friend Society.

It says the home, which it acquired from the Park Road Baptist Church in 2009, is no longer financially viable.

It has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic with a number of residents dying since January after contracting the virus.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Florence House at Park Road EMN-210507-161100009

The 19-room care home has just four residents and 20 members of staff, some of whom have worked there for 22 years.

Yesterday, Peterborough MP Paul Bristow in a letter to society chiefs, offered his help to prevent the closure.

Carer Veronica Hewins, of the Pilgrims’ Friend Society, said: “We really do need a miracle to save Florence House from closure.

“Any help will do but time is running out.

She said: “Unfortunately, the home is in financial difficulty and is no longer viable.

“We only have four residents in the home.

“The pandemic has been a tough time for us.

“Eight of the residents have died since January, some as a result of natural causes but most deaths were Covid-related - a result of the Kent variant.”

She that a consultation period with the 20 members of staff will end next week and it was expected the home will close on about September 8.

The Pilgrims’ Friend Society runs 15 care homes across the country but Florence House is the only one earmarked for closure.

The society was set up in 1807 as the Aged Pilgrims’ Friend Society to provide Christian communities for older people through residential care homes and independent living housing schemes.

In its early years, anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was its Vice-President.

Veronica said: “It is very sad Florence House will have to close.

“It is the only Christian care home in the city and there is a unique need for it.”

In his letter, Mr Bristow endorsed that theme.

He stated: “Itt is also the only home within 50 miles that has a Christian ethos.

“This is obviously of great importance and comfort for practicing Christians, and families, who choose Florence House for their home. This is something I attach huge importance to.

He added: “I am confident that with the right fundraising and marketing strategy there is a bright future ahead for Florence House.

“I would be willing to work hard to save Florence House, as I would any well-regarded care/residential home in Peterborough.

“Perhaps I could support marketing, awareness and fundraising efforts in a drive to find more residents?

“I know that we can achieve a strong and secure financial position for the care home here in Peterborough.

“Florence House is something unique in our city. Let’s do our best to keep it that way.”