St Jamesí job boost
Thursday, 26 September 2013
THE creation of 50 new jobs in the Ballymoney area following the opening of a new care home is said to have brought a 'feeling of hope to the economy'.
The comment was made by Dr John Johnston after he opened St. James' Lodge, the new private care home in Ballymoney.
Speaking after the event, Dr Johnston, a highly respected retired Ballymoney doctor said, "It is a delight to witness the prospect of up to 50 new jobs bringing a new feeling of hope to the economy of the Ballymoney District.
“So much of that hope had been diminished in recent years. Indeed, not only an improvement to the economy, but to provide security for so many of the elderly amongst us.
"I congratulate Frank McKenna for his foresight and indeed his courage in bringing such a venture to fruition in the face of many difficulties.
“His goal will provide a benefit to the elderly who need extra care at this time in their lives, combined with the provision of such a number and variety of skilled jobs and the added security those jobs engender for the families of those employed in St. James' Lodge."
The creation of the new jobs was also welcomed by the deputy Mayor, Cllr Ian Stevenson, himself a registered nurse.
Cllr Stevenson attended the opening and afterwards told The Chronicle, "I welcome the new care home and the creation of jobs within the town.
“The jobs come at a time when it's difficult on the economic front and I feel it's a positive step in the right direction and could mark the beginning of a turn for the good of the town.
“I feel the care home fits in very well with the residential character of the area, I applaud the developers for rejuvenating the St James' area of the town and I wish the owner every success."
The care home features 44 individual suites, 20 of them specialist dementia care rooms and 24 for frail older people.
The building fills a gap site where the Cooleen restaurant used to be - making the building a welcome asset to the appearance of the town.
During the opening, Dr Johnston, who began working as a GP in the town in 1970, said: "I am honoured to be here. This facility is absolutely amazing."
The doctor spoke of the many health innovations in Ballymoney down the years and how care for the elderly has evolved since he arrived in the town.
He revealed the site on which the new home sits was once a doctor's surgery with adjoining private dwellings, then a bed and breakfast and later a hotel-cum-restaurant.
"It is great to see new life being breathed into the stones beneath our feet. I have no doubt this will be a place of hope, care and human kindness. I wish the owners every success with this venture," the retired doctor added.
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