Southend care home takeover

Agreement has been reached on the sale of Jewish Care’s Southend residential home, Raymond House, to a local care provider.

The loss-making home had been under threat of closure but concerned local supporters urged the charity to look for a buyer.

On Tuesday, Jewish Care announced that Raymond House had been purchased by Javed Rashid, whose family runs two homes in the area.

Mr Rashid has pledged to maintain the home’s Jewish character and Jewish Care will fund a kosher chef for the first year. Mr Rashid said some refurbishment was planned to make the premises more attractive and the home would be promoted among the local Jewish and wider community.

He was confident of filling vacancies, which have increased as a result of uncertainty over the home’s future — only half the 38 beds are now occupied. But he stressed that the current residents would benefit from “continuity. They will have kosher food and the same staff. It is very important to maintain the dignity of residents.”

Mr Rashid added that he would be happy to discuss any issues with residents, their families or Jewish community representatives.

Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris was “pleased with the outcome” of the negotiations. “The entire board feel this is the right decision for everyone concerned.”

In addition to the kosher chef, Jewish Care plans to recruit an outreach worker for Raymond House who will be based at the charity’s Southend and Westcliff Community Centre.

Charity chair Steven Lewis said support would still be provided to the home’s volunteers — and guidance to Mr Rashid in understanding “Jewish cultural needs”.

Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation president Stephen Salt said that although the community was happy at the reprieve, “only time will tell if Jewish Care has made the right choice”.

Last updated: 11:08am, December 3 2012