New sensory garden for Peterlee learning disability service
Posted July 18th 2012
with learning disabilities at a Peterlee rehabilitation service are enjoying a
therapeutic sensory garden which they helped build.Staff at Huntercombe House Peterlee designed
the relaxing environment toenable a stimulation of the senses of
touch, smell, sound, taste, sight and movement. Maintenance staff Alan Rudd and Joe O’Donnell
then built the garden over a two-month period with help from clients at the
the garden was built specifically to benefit each client at the 21-bed
service on Westcott Road.
colorful space includes a tactile fence, wall off mirrors, ten-pin bowling
lane, water features, bird baths, drums, herbs and a ‘Wonder Wall’ of wheels.
They will enable people to develop and improve concentration, balance, relaxation,
and light exercise. Some clients are also now involved in the garden’s
“We wanted to make the sensory garden personal
and tailor-made to our clients, as well as being appropriate for future clients,”
said Occupational Therapist John Pope
“In the end we decided that the only way to
do this was to build the garden ourselves. After we talked with our current clients about
how we would design it, and how it could benefit them, we then all helped build
it bit by bit".
“The garden will be an integral part of every
contributed funds, through its Inspire Me campaign, to construct the garden.Chris McKenna, a
senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Teesside, also
visited to offer advice.
representative Barbara Taylor officially opened
the garden during a carnival-feel fun day on Friday,
July 13 2012
service, which helps clients progress to more independent living, also has a
new lounge painting, made of hand prints, thanks to 10 young
people from The Princes Trust charity.
creativity of our staff and clients, togetherwith help
from Mencap and The Princes Trust means we have some wonderful new additions to
the service which will benefit both present and future clients,” said Vincent
Cara, Deputy Manager at the 21-bed unit which is run by The Huntercombe Group.
“The fun day will be the perfect opportunity
to showcase our hard work. Special thanks must also go to our Administrator
Janet Finley who worked relentlessly to ensure that the sensory garden was
suitable to the needs of the clients.”
The fun day featured a giant slide, roundabout, swings, and an
old-fashioned sweet shop, a variety of stalls, a raffle and tombola.
With an Olympic theme, visitors can take part
in Olympic-inspired games! Plus, Huntercombe House Peterlee’s in-house band,
‘Mayhem’ and in-house DJ Wallace, performed.
Terra Firma completes acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care
Posted July 12th 2012
Terra Firma, a leading private equity firm, is pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of Four Seasons, the UK’s largest independent elderly and specialist care provider.
The company is being acquired for a total consideration of up to £825 million which will be financed through a mixture of equity and new debt, with the debt being arranged by Goldman Sachs and Barclays.
Four Seasons is the largest independent provider in a £15 billion market in the UK. The Company operates 445 care homes, with 22,364 beds, and 61 specialist care
centres, with 1,601 beds. Over the last few years, Four Seasons has led the sector in the development of higher dependency care services.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Guy Hands, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Terra Firma, said:
“Four Seasons’ debt has been very substantially reduced, bringing stability to the company. Terra Firma is committed to further investment in the business to achieve long-term
“Our number one priority is to ensure that Four Seasons delivers consistent high-quality care and peace of mind for residents, service users and their families. With a stable capital
structure and clear ownership, Four Seasons will be able to lead the sector in terms of quality of service.”
About Terra Firma
Terra Firma is a leading private equity firm which specialises in buy-outs of large, asset-rich and complex businesses. Terra Firma creates values for those businesses and its investors by delivering improved strategy, operations and management. Since being set up in 1994, Terra Firma has invested over €13 billion of equity and completed transactions with an aggregate enterprise value of €44 billion.
About Four Seasons
Four Seasons is the leading independent provider of health and social care in the UK. It operates 445 care homes and 61 hospitals and specialist units in the UK,
Isle of Man and Jersey. It employs more than 30,000 staff caring for more than 20,000 residents.
During 2011, Four Seasons increased its bed capacity by 40% by acquiring the business of Care Principles and taking over homes from Southern Cross Healthcare. Occupancy has continued to increase against the sector trend at circa 88%-89%. Four Seasons maintains a balance of freehold and leasehold properties, owning circa 60% of the
facilities it operates so it is not over-exposed to rental costs.
Four Seasons ranks among the highest rated quality of care providers with circa 88% its homes in England rated good or excellent by the Care Quality Commission inspection ratings. It has taken a sector lead in the development of specialist services for residents with higher dependency
needs including nursing care for infirm elderly, respite, step-up and step-down
care and an award winning specialist dementia service that is studied by care