A care firm boss has revealed his vision to open a unique dementia respite centre on a hotly-debated town centre site.
Greg Bamber, chairman of the Caring Hands group, wants to turn a bunglow next to the firm’s office in Liverpool Road, Penwortham, into an eight-bedroom respite centre as well as a hub offering support for families.
Recently plans to demolish the 100-year-old bungalow and replace it with four offices and flats were passed, despite opposition from residents.
But now owner Martin Fitzsimmons has announced the building will stay intact, however the site is developed.
After hearing the retail plans for the site, Mr Bamber started to think about alternative uses for the premises.
He said: “We completely recognise the pressures family members are under and the need to have a local facility to provide respite.
“At the moment there’s nothing really available in the area apart from a few nursing homes which offer some beds for respite care.
“So this is a great opportunity to open a facility in an area a lot of people grew up in. That’s really important for reducing anxiety of patients and is great for families who can easily visit their relative.”
He added: “The location also means we can provide a walk-in hub offering advice for friends and family.
“Dementia is something that so many people suffer from, but where do you go for help? If you were after a carpet, you’d know exactly.
“Also, advice available to families is very often in professional lingo and can confuse and alienate people. We want to make it more accessible.”
Mr Bamber is now in talks with Mr Fitzsimmons and other local stakeholders about making the vision a reality. He is also interested in hearing from people who feel they could add something to the project.
Mr Fitzsimmons said: “I’d love it to be a respite centre, but it has to wash it’s face as an investment.
“If plans don’t work out for this it will be four shop units, but either way, the building won’t be flattened anymore, it will look very much the same as it does now.”
It is hoped the gardens could be used as a sensory area.