On Friday 15 September, the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells helped to officially reopen Mount Ephraim House care home at an event attended by over 50 local professionals in health, care, businesses and beyond, alongside the home’s residents and their relatives.

Operated by not-for-profit provider, Greensleeves Care, Mount Ephraim House – which retains features dating back to the 17th Century – reopened in June this year after extensive expansion and renovation. The works have helped upgrade and increase the number of rooms by 50%, restore beloved period features and futureproof the home’s ability to provide high-quality care for many decades to come.

At the event, Mount Ephraim House residents Christine Stone and Angela Cook welcomed guests, including the Mayor and Mayoress, into their home. Christine, 95, said:

“Although Angela and I didn’t know each other before we moved into Mount Ephraim House earlier this year, we already feel that we have made friends for life. It’s a lovely home, all my visitors say they wish they could stay here!”

The Mayor, Councillor Hugh Patterson, spoke of the home’s significance within the town:

“In the 1780s ‘The Tunbridge Wells Guide’ spoke of Mount Ephraim House as a place where residents ‘may partake of all the pleasures of the country in a place where town and country are so happily blended as to afford all the advantages of retirement without any of the inconveniences of solitude.’

“Having seen and heard what I have, I believe that description still rings true today. I am pleased to see the home providing such a haven for the people of Tunbridge Wells.”

Greensleeves Care’s Chief Executive, Paul Newman, also addressed guests, speaking of Mount Ephraim House’s legacy as a place for care provision:

“This home, and this reopening today, is especially significant for all of us at Greensleeves Care. Mount Ephraim House was one of the founding homes of our charity. We’re delighted that this award-winning redesign and extensive work has allowed the home to increase capacity by 50% and return to doing what it does best: deliver Greensleeves Care’s unique brand of compassionate, highly-rated residential and dementia care to yet more people in the community.”

Home Manager, Karen Cooper, has been at the helm of Mount Ephraim House since 2007. Speaking of the return to the newly-renovated home, Karen said:

“It gives me great joy to see that the home already feels like a true, thriving community of care, with its own personality showing through.

“The renovations and expansion have really brought out the beauty of the building and the space is the best it has ever been. Colleagues and residents have waited patiently for their return and it’s a testament to how much love there is for the home. We are all thrilled to be back.”

Together with Christine and Angela, the Mayor, Councillor Hugh Patterson, unveiled a brass plaque and cut a symbolic ribbon to mark the reopening.

Guests and residents celebrated the occasion with drinks, a selection of treats made by the home’s catering team and live music and tours of the home.