War veteran who was one of the first British soldiers to meet the Russians after the Battle of Berlin opens new carers’ facility at Wells Community Hospital

World War Two veteran (R) John Utting officially opened the new carers’ facility at Wells Hospital. Picture: Ian Burt World War Two veteran (R) John Utting officially opened the new carers’ facility at Wells Hospital. Picture: Ian Burt

Saturday, April 26, 2014
6:30 AM

The latest feature of an ambitious project to develop a dementia hub in Wells has been officially opened by a World War Two veteran and charity trustee.

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World War Two veteran (R) John Utting officially opened the new carers’ facility at Wells Hospital. Also pictured are (from left) Iain MacKechnie-Jarvis, Christine Harrisonm John Edwards and Peter Groom. Picture: Ian BurtWorld War Two veteran (R) John Utting officially opened the new carers’ facility at Wells Hospital. Also pictured are (from left) Iain MacKechnie-Jarvis, Christine Harrisonm John Edwards and Peter Groom. Picture: Ian Burt

John Utting, 91, who served with the Royal Artillery 25th Field Regiment and was one of the first British soldiers to meet the Russians on the day Berlin surrendered to Soviet forces on May 2, 1945, officially opened The Harold Moorhouse Room at the hospital yesterday.

The facility will be used as a social meeting place for anyone involved in care work.

Mr Utting, from Burnham Market, who is a founder trustee of The Harold Moorhouse Charity, said: “This is a great facility and I’m really pleased to see the work that has been done here.”

The Harold Moorhouse Charity has donated at least £2,000 per year to the hospital since it was established in 1984.

It was named after a Burnham Market farmer who left money in his will to help people in need in Burnham Market, the visually impaired in the local area and the hospital.

Christine Harrison, a great niece of Mr Moorhouse and mother of Violet Worship, another founder trustee of the charity, who died last year, said: “I’m sure my great uncle and my late mother would be delighted by this honour.

“My great uncle spent a lot of time at this hospital and he loved the place.”

The dementia hub, which has been funded by a £120,000 Department of Health grant, will feature a dementia friendly garden and garden room and will see the hospital host numerous activities designed to support dementia sufferers and their carers.

It is part of a major long-term redevelopment which includes plans to eventually see 36 beds and a housing with care scheme in a new building next to the hospital.

Iain Mackechnie-Jarvis, chairman of Wells Community Hospital Trust, said: “I am delighted to see this new carers’ room opening.

“It is the carers who are often forgotten about and who feel isolated.

“This will encourage them to speak to other people in a similar situation to themselves, which can make a big difference.”

He added: “Progress is steadily being made with that long-term aim to bring 36 beds to the hospital and it is still very much our intention for this to happen.”

Do you have a story about a dementia care project? E mail newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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