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All Posts Tagged: Bridgemead

Lively Spring Concert

Bridgemead was very privileged to welcome  Bath All Comers Orchestra on a beautiful sunny evening. They performed a lively selection of music from Handel to a Polka for our residents and staff.

David Sibley the conductor said: “This is the fourth time we have played here and the orchestra look forward to coming. We can’t have the whole orchestra, as we number 55, but we have a good selection here tonight.”

Iris Stanton, a resident said: ” It was beautiful, we are very lucky to have them.”

Peter Bazire, aged 87, has played the violin for 6 years with Bath All Comers Orchestra and prior to that for 45 years with Bath Symphony Orchestra. He learned to play the trumpet in a Japanese Prisenor of War camp as a young man.


It was a lovely evening and Bridgemead were delighted to have the orchestra play for all the residents.

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Bridgemead feasts

The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rob Appleyard, said on a recent visit:” Bridgemead is brilliant. There is a sense of grace and love here, and the food is amazing!” Elliot Gower is part of the great team in the kitchens at Bridgemead producing the amazing food. He has worked here for 12 years, with the chefs Mark and Maria.

He says: “They are a good bunch of people and we have a laugh. Everyone has five minutes to spare chatting to the residents. It can be stressful but everyone goes out of their way to help each other. Everything is cooked from scratch and it is all fresh, except for the cod in batter.”

“The most popular dish is a roast dinner – pork, lamb, chicken or beef. On their birthdays residents choose their favourite menus – and it is always a roast dinner or salmon.”

“Everyone loves the puddings: Eton mess, cherry pie, fresh fruit cocktail, chocolate sponge, banana custard and baked apple are favourites – there’s hardly ever anything left.”

“We cater for everyone, whether it’s yeast free, dairy free or fat free; or we puree some foods for those who can’t swallow easily.”

“All in all, it’s a homely, friendly environment.”

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Emma McDermott, SRA Architects, talks about Bridgemead’s New Wing

  1. Why do we need a new wing?

Your original requirement was to protect the building from flooding, to relocate those residents and services from the lower ground level and upgrade the existing home to provide a dementia friendly environment. We knew that this would not be a simple scheme; in fact, we looked at about ten different options. Flooding is a major technical constraint on the existing building. We wanted to meet all the requirements in the original brief, and create a very good scheme that you would be proud of.


  1. How did you design the new wing?

Instead of just extending the existing two wings, and adding more accommodation, we needed to understand why the home works so well as it is and not interfere with that success. With the trustees we visited several other care homes to identify what designs work to create a homely, bright environment, and what is less successful.


  1. What did you learn from your research?

We realized that long corridors are not only tiring for staff but also can be confusing for people living with dementia. The new wing enables the dining room (the hub of the home) to be easily accessed by everyone; and we also provided a circular route all around the home on two levels.

We discovered that the quality of light is very important to people living with dementia. South facing rooms create shadows which can be scary to people with dementia. The new extension will be brighter, with a big roof light, it will be washed in a light from the north as this casts fewer shadows: the perfect light for painters in fact! We are also able increase the amount of ventilation so it does not become stuffy.


    4. How many rooms are in the new wing?

The new extension has 12 rooms altogether, all en-suite, so all the residents who are now on the lower ground floor can be re-located. Their rooms will look out on to the new garden, and the family rooms will have a balcony with a river view, so everyone can enjoy it.


  1. Why is it so expensive?

Unfortunately, all building work is expensive! We have designed the most cost effective solution for a site which has many challenges and constraints. The cost of the project includes moving the plant room (including the boilers), carrying out complicated ground works, building the extension and providing the flood defences. As a result, the home will be protected from flooding and upgraded.


  1. What will it look like?

Bridgemead is already a contemporary award-winning building. We did not want to design an extension that simply tried to copy the existing building – it would have detracted from the original design and looked like an add-on. So instead we have designed a contemporary extension which is sympathetic to the original iconic building. We are pleased with it as are B&NES’ urban designers – we hope you like it too.


  1. Have you enjoyed the design process?

Yours was a very challenging but really interesting brief. Although we have worked for all sorts of charities we had not designed a care home before – so we needed to do our research thoroughly and fully understand what you needed. It has been a year-long project to complete the design.  The Bridge Care trustees have been very thorough and a great client to work with. The neighbours have been very friendly as well, we were careful to make sure our design did not obstruct their views. Now we are keen to get the builders started.





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Citizen of the Year award

Geoff Weekes, Chair of Trustees of Bridgemead Care Home, has received the prestigious Citizen of the Year award on Thursday 18th May at the Mayor’s Parlour.

The Mayor of Bath’s Citizen of the Year Award recognises exceptional volunteers who have made an enormous contribution to the lives of those living in the city. Geoff Weekes has been given the award for his leadership of the trustees at Bridgemead Care Home and for overseeing the campaign to raise funds for a much-needed new extension. Geoff will receive his award from The Mayor, Councillor Paul Crossley, at a special ceremony in the Mayor’s Parlour on 18th May.

Marian McNeir, who nominated Geoff Weekes, says “Geoff has been involved with Bridgemead since it was founded 25 years ago, through his friendship with Dr Ray King, a Bath GP, and members of the Widcombe Baptist Church. Together, they pledged to offer the highest quality of care for local people, whatever their faith, social or financial circumstances. They raised funds and commissioned Feilden Clegg Bradley to design and build their iconic building on the banks of the Avon. Geoff has been a Trustee since December 2003 and was appointed Chair of the Trust in July 2012. He has given selflessly of his time and energy to lead the very able, committed team of trustees and make a huge difference to the lives of older, vulnerable residents by enabling them to flourish, and so realise Dr King’s vision. Residents are from all over the city of Bath and that’s why I thought Geoff would be an excellent candidate for the Mayor of Bath’s citizen medal.”

Geoff Weekes says “I’m very honoured to receive this award. It has been a great privilege to work with my fellow trustees, staff and volunteers to maintain a lovely home with values driven by the same Christian principles on which Bridgemead was founded. We really value the recognition and support of the Mayor at this crucial time as we have just submitted plans to carry out a major upgrade to our current building in St John’s Road, Bath. The new wing will extend services for vulnerable older people in a dementia-friendly setting. We will also be creating space to realise our plan to offer more facilities for older people in the community. As well, the building will be protected from flooding. We will need to raise £4,400,000 for the scheme and are excited to start fundraising for these vital new building plans.”


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London Marathon 2017

We are delighted to announce that Stuart Weekes completed the 2017 London Marathon in 4.44.49 and has raised an amazing £3,000 for Bridge Care. We are extremely grateful for this support and would like to congratulate him on his achievement.

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