Centre of excellence will create more than 100 new jobs in North Wales

Ambitious plans have been unveiled for a “world class” centre in Gwynedd to care for people with dementia.

The award-winning Pendine Park care organisation say the £5 million centre in Caernarfon will create more than 100 new jobs.

The planning application details their vision for the purpose-built centre on the site of a former community hospital, Ysbyty Bryn Seiont, in Pant Road, on the outskirts of the town.

With so many people living longer these days, dementia in its various forms is a growing problem. It can also afflict a surprising number of younger people.

There are 700,000 people living with dementia in the UK today, a number that’s forecast to double within a generation. The Alzheimer’s Society call it the “dementia timebomb”.

The scheme at the five-acre Bryn Seiont site  is the brainchild of Mario Kreft, the proprietor of Pendine Park, and his wife, Gill.

The couple run six care homes, a domiciliary care company and a teaching care centre in the Wrexham area and Mr Kreft is a leading figure in the UK care sector.

He is the Chair of Care Forum Wales, the main representative body for the care sector in Wales, and was last year awarded an MBE for his contribution to social care in Wales.

Pendine Park already employs 500 people in North East Wales.

The model for Canolfan Gofal Bryn Seiont (Bryn Seiont Care Centre) was completed in Wrexham last year and was officially opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones.

There, the new Bodlondeb unit is divided into eight small, family-like units so that the residents receive individual care and attention while benefiting from the back-up of a larger organisation

Pendine Park is working closely with one of the UK’s leading dementia experts, Professor Bob Woods, from Bangor University, and the Alzheimer’s Society

Mr Kreft said: “Over the past two years we have consulted extensively with the local authority, social services and the Local Health Board so that we can provide a service that responds to local needs. We will also be holding a consultation event in November.”

“Our vision for Canolfan Gofal Bryn Seiont is to provide a world class community based resource for people with dementia who need high-dependancy care not currently available in the area.

 “We aim to create a centre of excellence in Caernarfon to provide 24/7 services and they will include respite and day services. 

“But they will also be closely linked with our  teaching care centre which is going to ensure that our staff have the highest possible standard of training and personal development.

The Krefts, who celebrated the 25th anniversary of Pendine Park last year, entered the care sector when they were unable to find suitable residential care for their elderly grandparents.

Mrs Kreft said: “I think it’s fair to say that when you’ve had a personal situation or experience, you see things in a different light. 

“It was many years ago in our case but it taught us that you need the very best services possible to meet your relatives’ needs. 

“We were in a position where we couldn’t really find those services so we decided to take matters into our own hands and provide the sort of care that we felt was required for our grandparents, providing us with peace of mind and our grandparents with dignity and respect. 

 “We see Canolfan Gofal Bryn Seiont as a really exciting opportunity to provide some new, innovative services and to work closely with the statutory authorities to make sure that those services meet the needs and the likely future needs of the people of Gwynedd.”

Caption: Mario and Gill Kreft

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