Boxing legend Barry McGuigan was the guest of honour at the grand opening of Hadleigh Nursing Home.
More than 100 visitors, including people from the town as well as special invited guests, had the opportunity to meet their boxing hero as well as look around the Friars Road home.
Mr McGuigan, former world featherweight champion and now a boxing promoter and commentator, said: “It is great to be here today in Hadleigh in such a strong community.
“When you look at our ageing population, you realise we are all likely to need a place like this. To find person centred care is the important thing and Kingsley Healthcare has a great reputation for that.
“It is great to see the job you have done renovating this great property and I love to see the way you are building connections with the community.”
Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan, who described himself as a lifelong boxing fan, thanked everyone for attending and made a special mention of the Mayor of Hadleigh, Yvonne Free and the Rev John Parr, from St Mary’s Church, who carried out a blessing.
He said: “We are proud to have become part of the Hadleigh community by opening this much needed nursing home and my thanks go to operations director Debbie McGovern, operations manager Helen Gosling, home manager Emma Beckett and her team for their sterling efforts in making sure the home we took over has become such a great place for our residents.”
He invited Ms McGovern to unveil a commemorative plaque, paying tribute to her 18 years’ service to Kingsley “putting her heart and soul into health and social care”.
Home manager Emma Beckett said as a local person she was determined to put the home at the heart of the community and she was therefore delighted to mark the opening by presenting a £1,000 cheque from Kingsley to the Porch Project, a “very worthwhile” Hadleigh youth charity.
Guests enjoyed a barbecue in the garden with entertainment provided by Hadleigh Community Choir and a local string quartet.
Hadleigh Art Club were joined by Maureen Turner, a member of Hadleigh Photography Group, in putting on an exhibition that will run at the home until October 10.
Kingsley took over the home at the beginning of the year and the first new residents have moved in following a complete refurbishment.
Hadleigh Nursing Home has become the Lowestoft based company’s 29th home.