Local heroes thanked for helping Norham care centre

Birch Hill Care Centre in Norham has paid tribute to the local heroes who helped ensure its smooth and safe running during the severe weather conditions last week.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 12:57
Snowdrifts near Norham.

The care centre’s staff and the local community have been praised for their kindness and dedication during the combined ‘Beast from the East’ and ‘Storm Emma’.

The relentless weather conditions, including blizzards and snow, started last Tuesday evening and continued through to Thursday, which resulted in the closure of all roads in and out of Norham and surrounding villages. 

The local community rallied round, and as no supplies could make it to the centre, the local bakers, Fords of Norham, baked fresh bread and gifted their milk to the centre. A farmer from Galagate Farm in Norham cleared the centre’s drive of snow every day so that there was still emergency access.

Nicola Hall, care centre manager at Birch Hill, said: “We can’t thank everyone enough for helping us through such adverse weather! As well as our heroes from the local bakery and farm, our staff also showed a huge amount of dedication.

“Our day care staff and our cook stayed at the centre during the worst of the storm, which meant they stayed up to six days and nights here. These staff members also worked double shifts during the day and camped in the lounge areas at night.

“We also had two night care staff who slept at Birch Hill during the day and worked at night. They have been absolutely incredible during these challenging past days!”

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The centre also sends thanks to Toyota (GB) PLC which provides a 4x4 so the centre’s staff can get to and from work in extreme weather conditions. The car has given Birch Hill a lifeline, allowing the smooth and safe running of the centre in all weathers, as well as transporting residents to their hospital appointments.

Nicola continued: “The 4x4 was well and truly tested last week – it was simply amazing, it got us through snow drifts deeper than the car bonnet! Without this car, we would have been in absolute dire straits.

“I want to finish by saying a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us last week – I

don’t know what we would have done without you!”

Birch Hill Care Centre exclusively cares for adults over the age of 65 living with dementia. It is owned and run by Ben, the not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their family dependents.