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Tennis star Annabel Croft is guest at Four Oaks nursing care home opening in Manchester

Rising young sports stars were given a financial boost at the official opening of a care home on Tuesday. (18.4)   Former British tennis number one Annabel Croft, who was special guest for the ceremony at Four Oaks nursing home, in Wood Lane, Partington, presented a £350 cheque on behalf of Kingsley Healthcare, to Daley Richardson, the organiser of Manchester Sport Taekwondo.   The donation, part of Kingsley’s commitment to community projects, will enable Mr Richardson to invest in new equipment, including kick pads, for his gym in Partington.   A group of his young athletes gave a martial arts demonstration in front of guests at the opening, who included the Mayor of Trafford, Judith Lloyd as well as local healthcare and social work professionals.   Ms Croft, who confessed to being a “passionate believer in sport for all having started playing tennis at the age of nine”, was impressed by her tour of the state of the art 62-bedroom home.   She said: “It really is stunning. I have met some of the staff and residents and I am so impressed by the warm, homely atmosphere.   “My aunt has worked in care homes so I am only too aware what a demanding job it is and how hard staff work. I have so much admiration for carers, they are very much the unsung heroes of the health sector.”   After a blessing of the home, conducted by Father Bernard McDermott, of Lady of Lourdes Church in Partington, Kingsley CEO Daya Thayan addressed guests and thanked the people who had been key to delivering the project, including Ian Oriel and Martin Smyth, directors of Coutts Bank, and Patricia Seddon, from Seddon Construction.   He paid tribute to Mrs Seddon’s late husband Christopher for his role in introducing Kingsley to projects in the North-West.   A commemorative plaque was unveiled by Mrs Seddon, Mr Oriel and Mr Smyth.   Mrs Seddon said: “It’s an honour to attend the opening of Four Oaks, a fantastic care home for elderly residents in Greater Manchester and beyond. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this important space to the local area.   “I’m incredibly proud of the work Seddon has done in building a home that offers the very best care in a modern and comfortable environment. It’s testament to Seddon’s specialism in the healthcare sector and a fitting way to carry on my late husband Christopher Seddon’s legacy.”   Mr Oriel said: “I first met Daya and his wife Sumi in 2003 when they acquired their third care home and it was clear to me from the outset that they were passionate about making a real difference to the lives of people in their local community.   “Since that time they have worked tirelessly and expanded the business from its base in East Anglia into a group of nearly 30 care homes with a regional footprint that now extends across the country.”   “At Coutts, we are delighted to continue our support for Daya and his team. Here in Partington we provided them with a flexible funding package that resulted in the construction of Four Oaks Care Home.”

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