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Penryn care home allows family to be together

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 16, 2012

  • Resident Gareth Thomas with parents Ann and Tony.

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THE opening of a new care home in Penryn has given one couple and their son a chance of "being a family again".

Swallowcourt Homes has redeveloped the former Cross Keys pub on The Praze into a home for adults with physical and learning disabilities.

For Tony and Ann Thomas it is life-changing.

Their son Gareth, who has Down's syndrome, has been able to move to the same town as them for the first time in more than 20 years.

"We tried to get to see him once a month, but it was very difficult," said Mrs Thomas. "My husband has not been well and travelling is hard.

"Luckily his social worker thought he should be near his mum and dad and we can get to know our son again."

Gareth, 36, was moved into a home in Shropshire when he was 14 because of his needs – his parents were living in Middlesex at the time.

He was moved to a home in Exeter eight years ago, nearer to his parents, who had moved to Packsaddle in Penryn.

"I am over the moon he has been moved here – it's just around the corner. And he is a completely different Gary."

Swallowcourt spent £1 million developing the site, which it bought two years ago after searching for a suitable location in the town.

It will cater for eight residents in the main house and two self-contained flats.

It also has a covered court yard, sensory room and communal spaces spread across the house.

Paul Maudling, manager, said: "Its aim was to develop the most progressively designed specialist care home in the South West to enrich the lives of our residents, to develop their skills and offer greater independence."

The home was officially opened by mayor Gill Grant at an open afternoon for local residents last week.

Simon Phillips, group development director, said: "We have created a vibrant and stimulating environment for people to live.

"We are thrilled that visitors see it to be innovative and a boost to the local area."

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