Family of Chesil Lodge benefactor unveil plaque at emotional Winchester celebration

The family of a man who left £600,000 to support housing for older people in Winchester today (March 8) unveiled a plaque at a special celebration in Winchester.

Harold Harris’s generosity helped to fund the Chesil Lodge development, which was created in a partnership between Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council.

His brother Peter helped to unveil the plaque during an emotional ceremony at the home on Chesil Street, Steve Brine formally opened the building was joined by Mrs Sarah Thorne Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, and councillors from both authorities.

Chesil Lodge is home to more than 50 residents, aged 55 or over, and was designed as an innovative extra-care facility, meaning residents can retain independent living but with access to on-site care.

Peter Harris said:

"It gives me a lot of pleasure to carry on with what my brother wanted, he wanted something that people would remember him by and I am sure he is well satisfied wherever he might be. 

"I think it is brilliant, I have had a grand tour and met the residents and they are overwhelmed with everything they can call upon here."

Councillor Caroline Horrill, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“Chesil Lodge is an excellent example of working in partnership with others for the benefit of our residents. Extra Care offers a better, more modern style of care, it means people can have their own home but with the added reassurance that help is at hand.

“Since Chesil Lodge has been open it has made a real difference to residents who live there and it is wonderful that Harold Harris’s bequest has created a legacy for older residents, and I cannot thank the family enough for the donation which has proved invaluable.”

Chesil Lodge resident Kate Wardle, 91, said:

“It has made a real difference, it has taken years off me being here, I feel 21 again and I think there should be more of these schemes around.”

Chesil Lodge resident Elizabeth Snell, 96, said:

“I am very comfortable here because we have got a nice large room and my view over Winchester is wonderful.”

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry said:

“Extra care is popular and increasingly in demand because it offers the unique combination of a personal front door and privacy, within a contemporary setting along with access to a wide range of communal services.” 

“Chesil Lodge is an outstanding example of this style of modern, independent living for older people, with the added assurance of 24/7 personal and emergency care available where it is needed.  As a County Council we will be continuing our investment in this popular, cost effective care and accommodation option for the county’s residents.”