Residents of Furlong Close in Rowde mingled with staff, the new owners, villagers, councillors, and many of the campaigners which made up the Familes and Friends of Furlong Close steering group, at a party to celebrate the saving of the Close from closure….
It has been a drawn-out battle with former owners HFT, since October 2020, when, in the midst of the pandemic, the residents of Furlong Close, their families and friends were thrown into a state of anxiety and despair at the news Furlong Close was to close, and its thirty vulnerable residents forced to leave their happy and settled homes.
In July, the group were delighted to announce Furlong Close had been saved. The site had been acquired by a new owner, Specialised Supported Housing, and new care provider, Agincare, took over the provision of care to the residents.
Chair of the campaign group, FAFF, Antonia Field gave a heartwarming speech, thanking everyone for their efforts, and MP Danny Kruger reflected on the national mourning, suggesting this occasion was “what England is all about.” For me, personally, getting the chance to meet and talk with some of the residents put all the sterling efforts of the group and villagers into perspective.
The residents of Furlong Close are a welcomed part of the village community, always have been, the gathering today proved this, a truly monumental occasion for Rowde.
The ribbon was cut, symbolic of a new, brighter era for Furlong Close, and a marvellous example of how people-power can turn a negative into a positive.
I tried to chat with a representative of Agincare, but she was preoccupied talking to a resident about the Marvel film “Thor, Love and Thunder!” Along with the sunny autumn afternoon, this said it all for the occasion, giving me faith in the new owners and thier relationship with the residents.
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