Pupils at Drury Primary School have buried a time capsule, offering a rich snapshot of life in 2021, to mark the completion of the major expansion of the Marleyfield House care home in Buckley by Willmott Dixon.
The £8.4 million redevelopment project, for Flintshire County Council, doubles the number of beds at Marleyfield House from 32 to 64 and increases communal outdoor spaces and accessibility to support residents’ well-being.
Schoolchildren, from Years 3 and 4 at the Drury Primary, the Willmott Dixon team and residents and staff at Marleyfield House all contributed items and memories including photographs, poems and a giant collage of ‘lockdown life’ created by pupils, capturing Buckley in 2021.
At a special ceremony in the care home’s garden, pupils recited their poems, drawing from their feelings and experiences throughout the unique challenges of the past year, to an audience of Marleyfield House residents and staff.
Willmott Dixon’s team then lowered the capsule in to place where it will stay, a piece of history to be opened by future Buckley generations.
Maxine Roscoe, Year 3 and 4 Teacher at Drury Primary, said:
“The children were thrilled to be a part of this exciting project. They have written fabulous poems and worked collaboratively together to create a super class collage reflecting on both their positive and negative experiences of lockdown, featuring many rainbows, paddling pools in the garden and snowmen!
“Through the innocent eyes of a child, it really wasn’t all that bad getting to play, bake, craft and be at home with family all day every day. It has been a very rewarding experience.”
The expansion of Marleyfield House is an example of Flintshire County Council’s pro-active approach to addressing the current significant pressures and fragility in the care sector across the country.
Each room at Marleyfield House will have personal outdoor space either through a balcony on the first floor or a patio on the ground, while the extension will also see the creation of new communal areas, medical facilities, offices and store- rooms, extended car parking facilities and extensive sensitive landscaping.
Flintshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
“What a fantastic event – it was so lovely to see the children and hear the poetry they’d written, as well meeting residents and coming together to bury this time capsule.
“We have an ageing population with increasingly complex needs, despite a greater emphasis on helping people living at home for longer, it’s right too that we increase the care home capacity.
“This state-of-the-art facility reaffirms the Council’s commitment to providing services. I am proud that Flintshire County Council continues to support our most vulnerable residents.”
Completing the project, procured through the Scape framework, on time and on budget, Willmott Dixon continued work amid the challenges of the global pandemic, embracing innovative safe working practices for the safety of everyone on site, in line with Government guidelines.
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said:
“We’re very proud to play our part in delivering such as important project, creating a modern, welcoming and high-quality home for residents.
“Our thanks to all the Marleyfield House residents and staff, and especially to the pupils of Drury Primary, who helped us capture this moment in history for the future generations of the people of Buckley.
“We proud to say this is a community project built by the people of Flintshire for the people of Flintshire and we have invested more than £4.8m of the project spend with businesses in the local area.”