Journalists' home to close

By Jon Slattery
 
NPF – the journalists’ charity – is to press ahead with plans to
demolish and rebuild its Sandy Cross residential care home at a total
cost of nearly £6 million.

The NPF council has approved the plan to re-build the nursing home
based in Dorking. While building work takes place Sandy Cross will be
closed in September and the eight remaining residents will be
transferred to other nursing homes. The 26 full and part time staff
will be made redundant.

 
The reconstruction work will cost £3.9 million and take 18 months. The
NPF said that other related expenditure including the temporary loss of
fees at the home, redundancy payments and other contingencies will push
the total cost to nearly £6m.
 
NPF director David Ilott said a generous package of redundancy terms
was being provided for the care home staff. “The original home was
opened in 1969 and would have great difficulty in meeting both the
latest care standards or fire regulations. Updating the existing
building would not have been cost effective and the NPF council decided
the most practical solution was to build a new home.”
 
An appeal to meet the cost of the new home was launched by the NPF last
year at a reception hosted by the Queen, and has so far received
pledges and donations of £670,000. The NPF has already committed £1
million to the project.
 
NPF council chairman Nicholas Jones said fund raising will now be
stepped up with a re-launch to coincide with the rescheduled London
Press Ball on 28 September. The ball, a major fund-raising event for
the NPF, had to be cancelled on 7 July because of the London terror
attacks.
 
Jones said:”We shall now be calling on every journalist in the country, as well as
every media proprietor, to dig deep into their pockets. The
Journalists’ Charity already spends £200,000 a year in grants and
assistance to needy journalists, their partners and dependents. Last
year we provided help in well over 160 individual cases.
 
“As the main charity for journalists we intend to do our upmost to
protect our core work in helping journalists who fall on hard times. So
that makes it all the more important that our appeal for the new Sandy
Cross is a success.”
 
Jones said that he and his fellow trustees were convinced that
replacing the existing Sandy Cross with a new state-of-the-art care
home was an essential act of renewal for the NPF.
“To the journalists we say: ‘this is your chance to do something for
your own charity and give real help to your colleagues when they need
it.
“To the proprietors we say: ‘many of you have helped us for years. Now
is the time for you all to dig deep and support the charity that offers
care to journalists and dependants who need it.'”
 
Donations can be made to the NPF head office, Dickens House, 35 Wathen
R
ad, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1JY or email enquiries@pressfund.org.uk
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