Official Naming Ceremony for new Extracare Estate in Hammersmith & Fulham

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A framed photograph and biography of Mary Seacole will be unveiled by the founders of the Mary Seacole Foundation to mark the occasion. Representatives from Hanover Housing Association, Care UK and Hammersmith and Fulham Council will also be present.

The name 'Mary Seacole House' was chosen because Mary was a heroine during the Crimean War in the mid 1800's; she was finally laid to rest in 1881 within a churchyard in the borough. She was awarded the Crimean Medal and the French Legion of Honour and a Turkish Medal. The 200th anniversary of her birth is also being celebrated this year.

Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica and gained her medical knowledge during her travels around the world. She used her skills both on the battlefield and in the British Hotel near Balaclava to provide a "mess table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers". She was subsequently nicknamed "Mother Seacole".

Mary Seacole House is as a result of a unique Private Finance Initiative partnership between Care UK, Hanover Housing Association and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Mary Seacole House will provide 32 self contained retirement flats for people over 55. The estate will bring together specially designed housing and 24 hour care and support. It offers older people security, safety, support and companionship with the added advantage of retaining independence and privacy in self contained flats.

Mike Parish, Chief Executive of Care UK said "This is a landmark development in terms of public - private sector cooperation. This will provide facilities well overdue for older people who want to remain in the borough and I am sure they will warmly welcome them."

Councillor Reg McLaughlin, Hammersmith & Fulham Cabinet Member for social inclusion, said the facility would provide a modern new home for residents from the Goldhawk Road nursing home and others.

"We're committed to creating comfortable places with professional staff to assist those who still want their independence and to live in their own home, but also need a helping hand sometimes.

"We've recently opened the new Farm Lane nursing home in Fulham and have another nursing home opening in the spring. Elgin Close, a similar extra care sheltered scheme, also operates in the borough. In this way, we're providing a variety of options to suit the needs of the older people in our community."

Hilda Keet the Estate Manager said "This is an exciting time as final preparations are being made. I am looking forward to meeting the new residents when they move in later this year"

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