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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Westhorpe Hall - New website goes live!


It seems an age since I last wrote a blog post but I make no apologies as I have been working hard with our alternative project, the residential care home, Westhorpe Hall. In early 2012 we were aware that our tenants, the existing care provider’s business was struggling as the rent had stopped being paid and on closer inspection the CQC had serious concerns about the level of care that was being provided and were on the verge of taking enforcement action. We as a family were faced with three scenarios regarding the historic old hall: 1) find someone else to run the care home, 2) close the home and find an alternative use for the hall or 3) acquire the business and bring the home ‘in house’ and run the home ourselves.

 I was under no illusion what a difficult task this would be but I was more than aware that it was my late grandmother Ella’s wish in 1984 that Westhorpe Hall became a care home and I felt we all owed it to her to at least give it a try. The family bought the 230 acres that made up Hall Farm, Westhorpe in 1960 from the Shave family for £68 per acre and this included the grand house. After the Shaves moved out the Hall became a pub, hotel and restaurant and many current visitors have fond memories of nights out in Westhorpe especially the Sunday night discos.
The care home and care business that we took over was on its knees and had been for some time. It was only down to the commitment of many members of staff who had battled on in extremely difficult conditions, financial issues, bad press, a reputation being constantly dragged through the mud and the threat of closure that had kept the place open. The staff all told me that there was something special about the place and how ‘it always was a lovely home’ which convinced me that it was going to be worth persevering with and I was also touched by how supportive the residents families were and how supportive they were of the staff.
One of the refurbished signature rooms.
Two years on we are making steady progress. The toilets, the kitchen and many rooms have been refurbished and two new en-suites have been created where funds allow. We have just launched a new website and new marketing material which should allow us a greater presence in the marketplace and in people’s minds. This is all second to constantly driving the quality of care that we deliver. I am delighted that the staff body has remained largely the same. Continuity in staffing is key and there are four members of staff who have been working at Westhorpe Hall for 30 years or more and the answer to the most asked question is Suffolk, Yes… Anita is still here. So please, feel free to view the website and if anyone is interested in looking around get in touch, follow us on twitter and tell your friends Westhorpe Hall is very much open for business but without the Sunday night discos.

If anyone would like to visit or make enquiries about care and coming to live at Westhorpe Hall or job vacancies please contact Dawn, our manager on 01449 781691 or email office@westhorpehall.co.uk.

 


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