It was celebrations all round this week as regional construction company Stepnell started work on The Royal Star & Garter Homes’ new residential home for disabled ex-Servicemen and women and their partners in Hughenden Avenue, High Wycombe. Councillor Ian McEnnis, Chairman of Wycombe District Council and resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, Anthony ‘Bugs’ Bendell – a former RAF fighter pilot – led the Ground Breaking Ceremony to mark the start of construction on the state-of-the-art 75-bed Home in Hughenden Avenue, High Wycombe.
Due for completion towards the end of next year, the £17 million, four-storey, high-specification building has been designed and built to create a welcoming and stimulating environment for disabled veterans. Building on the Charity’s award-winning reputation for dementia care, the new Home will also feature purpose-designed dementia care accommodation for 30 residents. The Home’s communal facilities will include a large dining room, lounge, bar and hairdressers on the ground floor, along with office accommodation and activity, physiotherapy and meeting rooms. Residents living with dementia will also have their own lounge and dining facilities. All bedrooms will have ensuite shower wet rooms and full tracking for hoists.
Stepnell will also build a large communal terrace area on each floor and landscaped gardens for residents to enjoy.
The Royal Star & Garter Homes is a charity founded in 1916 to care for the severely injured young men returning from the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today it provides specialist care for disabled ex-Servicemen and women, and their partners. The new High Wycombe Home is one of three Homes to be built over the past eight years, following on from new Homes in Solihull, West Midlands, and Surbiton, Surrey. These three Homes will care for a total of 197 disabled members of the ex-Service community, including 71 people living with dementia.
“The Charity sets the standard in nursing and dementia care,” says Andy Cole, Chief Executive of The Royal Star & Garter Homes. “The new High Wycombe Home will build on everything we have learned from delivering award-winning care in our existing Homes, as well as drawing on new innovations and thinking. We are looking forward to becoming part of the community in High Wycombe and offering specialist care to disabled veterans in the Buckinghamshire area and beyond.”
Cllr Ian McEnnis, Chairman of Wycombe District Council says: “It’s great that The Royal Star & Garter Homes have chosen High Wycombe as one of the three places to provide their specialist care. Coming here today I’m thrilled to see work starting here to put life back into the town, transforming what was a derelict site into a space for people to live.”
The Stepnell construction team is also keen to see the new building get under way. “This is a very exciting project for Stepnell and we are honoured to be building this excellent new Home which will provide first-class accommodation and care for our veterans who have dedicated their careers to keeping the peace, protecting us and ensuring the freedom we enjoy today,” says Tom Wakeford, Joint Managing Director for Stepnell. “It is a pleasure to be working alongside The Royal Star & Garter Homes on such an important project.”
Anthony ‘Bugs’ Bendell, who ranked amongst the RAF’s most talented fighter pilots of his generation, currently lives at the Charity’s Surbiton Home. Bugs hopes to be one of the new Home’s first residents. He commented: “Opening The Royal Star & Garter Home in High Wycombe will be a great advantage to the military veterans in South Buckinghamshire and the wider area, including Berkshire and Oxfordshire. They will benefit from the high standards of care that The Royal Star & Garter Homes have traditionally provided. I hope I will be one of the first in the new Home. As well as the new Home, I look forward to all High Wycombe has to offer such as the theatre, Eden Centre and two cinema complexes.”