Expansion plan for care home

A CARE home near Barnsley is expanding and taking on new staff following a change of ownership, funded by a £1.1 million European Investment Bank loan, provided through Lloyds TSB Commercial.

Thornhill House, on Church Street, Darfield was acquired last year by Huddersfield-based Strong Life Care.

Former financial services worker Harpreet Banwait, who launched Strong Life Care to buy Thornhill House and other care homes, said: "When we first took over the running of Thornhill House, we didn't want to make too many changes too soon, as we were concerned this would unsettle the residents and the employees.

"Now, after a successful initial period, we are looking forward to expanding the services offered by the home, and the building itself with the addition of the new day care centre and elderly mentally infirm facility.

"We have ambitious plans for Thornhill House, and when we have completed those we will eventually look for future acquisition opportunities, initially in the north west of England but then potentially into the rest of the UK and possibly Europe."

Strong Life Care has already recruited four new staff, added two new bedrooms and introduced short term respite care in addition to the long term residential care the home has traditionally offered. It now plans to recruit five more staff and add a further three bedrooms.

Graham Scott, senior healthcare banking consultant for Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: "Thornhill House has been established in Darfield for a couple of decades now, and is a vital resource for elderly people in the area.

"The changes already made by Harpreet, and those in the pipeline, further strengthen the home's offering and will lead to increased services and capacity for care. Harpreet's plans for the Strong Life Care business are ambitious but achievable."

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