Struggling Peterborough care home that needed a ‘miracle’ is saved from closure
A care home in Peterborough that bosses said needed a ‘miracle’ to save it has been rescued from closure.
Florence House, in Park Road, has been bought by Yasamine Watts and mum, Touran Watts, after being earmarked for closure by its former owners, the national charity Pilgrims’ Friend Society.
Now the mother and daughter team, who also own Garden Lodge, in Glinton, say their priority is to increase the number of residents at the 19-bedroom house followed by a refurbishment that will focus on a redecoration and improvements to its care park.
Yasamine said: “We had been looking for another care home for a few years and this was a great opportunity.
“There were just four residents here, which has since increased to six, and we want to tell everyone that the home will not close and that we want to attract more residents.
She added: “We have 10 wonderful members of staff who have remained positive throughout despite what they have been through with Covid and the prospect of closure.
“We plan to put the profits from the home into modernising the building - it needs a bit of a lift.”
The sale agreement is expected to be finalised in a few weeks but the society has agreed that Yasamine should begin managing the home immediately.
She said that Florence House would retain its Christian ethos, which has always been a feature of the home.
Touran said that the support of the community and the society had been vital in keeping the care home going since the closure warning was sounded earlier this year.
She said: “The society’s chief executive Stephen Hammersley has been very positive and understanding and locally we’ve had wonderful support from Martin and Linda Bird who have been in to organise barbecues, arts and craft sessions and church services.
“The community support has been so important during this time when morale has been low.”
Announcing the possible closure of Florence Home in July, the Pilgrims’ Friend Society stated the home, which it acquired from the Park Road Baptist Church in 2009, was no longer financially viable and had been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the time Carer Veronica Hewins, of the Society, told the Peterborough Telegraph: “We really do need a miracle to save Florence House from closure.
“Any help will do but time is running out.”
The closure threat had prompted an appeal from Peterborough MP Paul Bristow for help to save the home.
He said: “Touran and Yasamine Watts are going to do a super job attracting new residents and keeping the Christian ethos at Florence House.
“This is tremendous and the start of a new positive future for residents, staff and the new owners.”