14th November, 2022
The new wing at Brinsworth House was formally opened by the Executive Committee of the Royal Variety Charity on Fri 11th Nov 2022.
In 2012, Chairman of the Royal Variety Charity began a campaign to refurbish Brinsworth House, the charity’s care home for elderly entertainers. It was an enormous task – most of the bedrooms were without ensuite bathrooms, there was limited access to the higher floors (with just one staff lift) and generally the whole home needed upgrading with tech and facilities.
Giles Cooper recalls “to start with it was difficult to persuade my fellow colleagues on the management body to proceed with the vision. Quite rightly, they were concerned about whether we could afford it, but most importantly, were worried about where we would house our many residents during the works. In time, however, everyone realised that without improving our facilities it wouldn’t be long before this old building would, in a few years, be no longer fit for purpose.”
Tenders were soon placed for architects and structural engineers and within a couple of years, the plans for the complete refurbishment of Brinsworth House, were agreed. Project Managers and construction companies were then sourced to quote on the work, which had been developed into several distinct phases to ensure the minimum disruption to staff and residents. The task was further complicated by the fact that the old Georgian mansion was Grade 2 Listed and numerous meetings and approvals were required by County Planning officials, together with Officers from Historic England.
Work began in earnest in 2020 and, ironically, the Covid pandemic assisted its progress. The Home was naturally closed to visitors and our policy of not admitting any new residents to the home during the pandemic, meant that whole areas could be cordoned off from residents, allowing the builders to get on with their work separately to the home’s operation.
The brand-new kitchen, fitted with the latest high-tech equipment, together with a complete refurbishment of what was quite a dark and dingy dining room, was completed in December 2021.
Our new wing, complete with 16 ensuite bedrooms, each fitted with fibre connected broadband and digital screens is a site to behold – it really is like a boutique 5-star hotel!
Giles Cooper commented “I’m so delighted that this multi-million-pound project is nearing completion. It really will make an enormous difference to the quality of life for our many residents (and staff!). It also future proofs the ‘entertainment industry’s care home’ for the next 100 years and I’d like to thank all those who’ve assisted us with the fundraising and logistics of making this possible, most particularly the hard work of Peter Hinton and Kirsty Bristow. We can all be so proud of our achievement.”
On 11th November, 2022, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to name the wing, THE GILES COOPER WING.