Alma Barn Lodge Grand Launch Brings Didcot Community Together

3 December 2021

Alma Barn Lodge Grand Launch Brings Didcot Community Together

Community leaders, local people and one very special family got together for the fantastic, circus-themed grand launch of Alma Barn Lodge Care Home on Wednesday 1st December.

Visitors were greeted by magicians, fire breathers, stilt-walkers and clowns as the circus fun began, and sweets and candy floss were on hand for everyone to enjoy.

Staff and Residents were joined by councillors Denise MacDonald and Sarah Medley, Carolyn Saul from Aureus School, Margaret Abbott from Didcot Volunteer Drivers, Trev Marshall from JACKFm’s breakfast show and many others for the event.

Members of Alma Barnes’ family arrived for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and were moved to tears by a speech about their mother and grandma, who inspired the Home’s name.

The Care Home was built on the site of Alma Barn, a well-known barn in the community which is where the name of the home originated.

Before the ribbon was cut to officially open Alma Barn Lodge, Advinia Health Care’s David Martins paid tribute to Alma Barnes in a speech about her life.

Alma’s daughter Wendy and granddaughters Andrea and Karen watched on as he told the story of the lady who gave this state-of-the-art new Home its name.

David said: “It was a terrific occasion for the community and us, and we wanted to honour the history of the land and the wonderful family whose name will forever live on in the community.

“Alma was born weighing only 3lbs and was literally wrapped in cotton wool as a baby because she was so small.

“Her parents named their barn ‘Alma barn’ after her, and she grew up on the land where our new care home is built.

“It was very moving to talk about her life and legacy and to see her family moved to tears by this emotional moment.”

The ribbon was cut by Advinia Founder and Chairman Dr Sanjeev Kanoria and his wife Sangita, Chief Operating Officer Mark Cash, Home Manager Dan Bridges and Residents Bryan Turner and Betty Draper.

The event was an intergenerational celebration as families, school children, church members, local businesses and many others got together to enjoy the afternoon’s festivities.

For the team at Alma Barn Lodge, it was important to establish the Home as part of the community and create strong bonds with local people.

Home Manager Dan Bridges said: “Community is at the very heart of everything we do and wish to achieve, and it was great to invite our friends and neighbours to Alma Barn Lodge for such a terrific occasion.”

“We’ll be getting involved with lots of activities and want our Residents to be very much part of the fabric of Harwell.”

“This was a wonderful way to begin that journey, and we’re excited about the future for Alma Barn Lodge.”