An audible sigh of relief can be heard throughout the southern Hilltops region as news filters through that St Lawrence Residential Aged Care is set to reopen in December under a new name, Harden Grange.
It’s been almost 20 months since Southern Cross Care (NSW and ACT) closed the facility, leaving 35 residents to find new homes amid a collective outcry from residents of Harden-Murrumburrah.
The 45-bed community will now be recommissioned with plans to welcome the first residents this December.
The Harden Regional Development Corporation (HRDC) has been a key driver in facilitating the reopening.
Harden Grange will be operated by a new local not-for-profit group, HRDC Community Limited, founded by the Kruger Trust and national-approved aged care provider Apollo Care Alliance.
HRDC deputy chairperson, Samantha Flanery, thanked The Kruger Trust for investing in an equity stake to facilitate the reopening.
The Kruger Trust was founded in accordance with the wishes of the late Geoffrey Kruger, a retired dental surgeon who lived in Harden for much of his life.
The trust was formed through his last will and testament, and was created with the intention of funding improvements for the town of Harden.
“We look forward to seeing Harden Grange become a strong and valued community residential aged care service,” Mrs Flanery said.
“Providing our ageing demographic with a place to call home plus more jobs for locals will be a much-needed boost for our twin towns and the broader Hilltops Region,” she added.
Apollo Care’s CEO, Stephen Becsi, said Apollo Care was formed to revitalise a segment of the aged care market that is at high risk of extinction: smaller not-for-profits.
“These smaller providers play an essential role in delivering choice to older Australians who want to remain connected to their local community,” he said. “This is especially important in regional communities, like Harden.”
Mr Besci said Apollo Care’s operating model allowed smaller aged care communities to thrive in a very challenging operating environment.
“We bring our highly experienced team of industry leaders, the latest technology, best-practice care governance and an award-winning staff culture program to Harden Grange,” he said.
“We look forward to Harden Grange supporting local residents and their families by providing quality aged care services to the whole community.”
A team from Apollo Care will visit Harden to meet with the local community and answer questions.
This community event will be held at The Mechanics Institute in Harden on Monday 17 October 2022 from 2 pm to 6:30 pm, and Tuesday 18 October from 7:30 am to 11 am.
In attendance will be:
– Stephen Becsi, OAM – Apollo Care CEO
– Kylie Radburn – Chairperson of the Harden Grange Board and Apollo Care chief governance officer
– Gabby Maresca – Apollo Care Recruitment
– David Arguelles – Apollo Care Project Management, Asset Management and Procurement
Mr Becsi said that Apollo Care is committed to keeping Harden Grange focused on local aged care needs.
“We look forward to talking with families and prospective residents, and anyone interested in job opportunities,” he said.
“We will also be meeting with local suppliers and contractors who can help us with preparations for the reopening of Harden Grange,” Mr Besci added.
Southern Cross Care’s CEO, Helen Emmerson said Southern Cross Care had worked to facilitate the sale to a provider who can serve the region’s aged care needs.
“We are very happy to be able to transfer this facility to a new community-backed organisation,” Ms Emmerson said.
“I wish the Apollo Care Alliance all the very best”.