A pioneering £3 million luxury care complex that’s creating more than 40 new jobs in Gwynedd is in the running for a major UK award.
The Parc Bryn Seiont scheme of 16 companion living apartments in Caernarfon has been nominated in the prestigious Pinders UK Health Care Design Awards.
The development by the Pendine Park care organisation, which is aimed at people from North West Wales, is the first of its kind in the UK.
It’s been designed primarily to allow couples to stay together when one or both of them needs social care support as well as for individuals looking for a luxury apartment with care.
The scheme is next door to the bilingual Bryn Seiont Newydd dementia centre of excellence on Pant Road which won the Pinders prize for the Best New Care Home in the UK in 2016.
Once all the apartments are occupied, it will take the total number of people employed on the site to 140 and Pendine Park’s investment there to £10 million.
Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, the Leader of Gwynedd County Council, is also impressed with Bryn Seiont Newydd and Parc Bryn Seiont.
He said: “It’s a marvel to be honest, and the standard of the building, the standard of the resources they have here, I don’t think you can get better to be honest.
“We have visited today to see the provision here for couples, and it is the place you would wish to live in yourself. They’re incredibly comfortable.
“You can live independently there, but also you know that the care is available if you need, and that reassurance is a very important.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Cllr Gareth Roberts, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for older people.
He said: “Certainly the standard of the place, the vision that the owner has is an eye-opener, there’s no doubt about it.
“Parc Bryn Seiont is a brand new idea which meets the yearning of couples to be able to stay together because it’s awful when one can’t, they get torn apart.
“This idea of keeping them together, and being responsible for each other is fantastic.
“We’re all getting older. We’re the people today where everything is ok, but in the future who knows what’s in front of us.
“How would you like to be treated when you’re older, that’s the question for some of us who are in the kind of situation where we can influence a little bit today? I think it’s very important that we look at things like this. ”
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE was grateful to the two councillors for taking the time to come and see for themselves and was delighted that Parc Bryn Seiont had been nominated for the award.
He said: “We are very proud of Parc Bryn Seiont particularly because it is filling an important gap and enabling people to stay together instead of being wrenched apart.
“Another important factor is that we provide a properly bilingual service because the Welsh language is central to the culture and the way of life in this area.
“It would be remarkable to follow in the footsteps of Bryn Seiont Newydd and win a second Pinders award here in Caernarfon.
“There certainly isn’t anything like this in North Wales because essentially it’s a type of extra care plus plus.
“We have a track record of breaking new ground. For example, we created the first purpose built care facility in the independent sector in Wrexham in 1990.
“The other thing that sets us apart is the quality of our training and the Commissioner for Older People described our training materials world class.
“Everything we do, from the environment, to the design, the training, the gardens, everything is aimed at enriching people’s lives, and we heavily use the arts in that.
“We’ve had an artist in residence now for well over 20 years, and we have a musician in residence and a performing artist in residence in Caernarfon.
“In addition, we have a number of very talented, committed enrichment coordinators.
“Our training and development programme and the sheer quality of our facilities is the culmination of more than 30 years’ experience in the sector.
“We are constantly striving to improve we do and the companion living apartments are going to be up there with some of the finest accommodation around and the early responses from people who know about these things has been overwhelming.
“We opened our first home in 1985 because it enabled our grandparents to be reunited and it will be wonderful to reunite other people who have been separated because of their health needs as well as providing luxury accommodation for individuals who need care.”