Southend seeking a buyer to save home

By Jessica Elgot, May 10, 2012

Families of residents at the Southend home Jewish Care plans to close are pinning their hopes on finding a buyer.

Fifty relatives and community members attended a meeting last week with senior Jewish Care staff to discuss the future of Raymond House.

Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation vice-president Stephen Salt said afterwards that he was working with president Alan Gershlick to attract a purchaser. "We have several possibilities in the pipeline to stop the home from closing."

The hope was to have a proposal to present to a meeting on Monday with Jewish Care trustees and concerned relatives being held at the charity's Vi and John Rubens home in Ilford. "We are acting not just on behalf of the residents but the whole community of Southend."

Stuart Levinson, whose mother-in-law is one of the 25 Raymond House residents, has written to Lord Sugar, Gerald Ronson and Sir Philip Green appealing for financial help to keep the home open. "I feel that if the home was improved cosmetically, more people would be interested in going there," he said. "The care is wonderful. We really don't want to think of what would happen to my mother-in-law if the home closes. We don't want her to have non-kosher food or be in a non-Jewish environment. But the closest Jewish home is Rubens House and it's an hour's drive."

A local team has ‘several possibilities’ to keep the home open

Jewish Care chief executive Simon Morris said the charity had gone to "extraordinary lengths to secure a purchaser for the home", but had been unsuccessful.

"A viable alternative to closure would have to demonstrate the securing of £300,000 per year for a minimum of three years. In the meantime, Jewish Care will continue with plans to close the home and families who wish to start discussing options for moving a resident to another home have been informed of the process for doing so."

Last updated: 8:13pm, May 10 2012