On Saturday 22 July, the staff at Merlewood, the flagship home of the Elizabeth Finn Homes care group held an open day to celebrate the 75-year milestone with a BBQ, Pimms and ice cream and an array of outdoor stalls, a dog show and donkey rides as well as live music and entertainment.
“It was a fabulous day for all involved and we are grateful to Cllr Shannon Saise-Marshall and her Consort, Maj (Retd) Rob Marshall MBE for helping us celebrate and to all those from the local community who came along to support and run stalls,” commented Debbie Vellender, Merlewood General Manager. “It was lovely to see our residents and their families enjoying the great atmosphere and meeting new people.”
The Elizabeth Finn Homes care group grew from the Distressed Gentlefolk’s Aid Association (DGAA) which was founded in 1897 by Elizabeth Finn. At the age of 72, Ms Finn decided that something had to be done about the silent suffering of people who had been self-sufficient in the past but were now battling with poverty and illness.
Following the war there was a shortage of care homes for older people and in January 1948 the Victorian house known as Merlewood in Virginia Water, Surrey, became the first care home purchased by the Association which was renamed the Elizabeth Finn Trust in 1999.
” “Elizabeth Finn was a champion of kindness and dignity for those facing hard times,” comments Dr Oliva Curno, CEO of Elizabeth Finn Homes. “As Elizabeth Finn Homes reaches our 75th birthday, we are proud to be continuing her legacy through the excellent care provided in our homes and through our support of Turn2us, the charity she founded, which helps thousands of people facing poverty across the UK every day.”