Residents to be kings of castle

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Elderly residents who were forced to flee a devastating fire are coming home thanks to the kindness of a charity.

Forth Bay Care Home in Kincardine was badly damaged in August and around 50 people living in the facility were rescued by staff and passers-by.

Alternative accommodation was found for them in a care home in Glenrothes but this meant a two hour round trip daily for staff looking after the residents and the old people’s families wanting to visit.

This week the Scottish Miners Convalescent Trust threw open the doors of Blair Castle to bring 27 of the elderly people home.

Situated in Culross and only ten minutes drive from Kincardine, it normally operates as a respite and holiday centre for retired miners and their families.

The charity’s trustees have offered to take the Forth Bay residents, providing them with individual ensuite rooms till the home reopens in May.

Nicky Wilson, chairperson of the Scottish Miners Convalescent Trust, said: “It’s a fair old trek from Kincardine to Glenrothes, and when we found out how far relatives and the residents’ care staff were travelling, we felt we had to do everything in our power to help them.

“Winter is a quiet period for us, so we realised we could accommodate all 27 of the residents who were moved to Glenrothes. We contacted the Care Commission and with their approval, we were delighted to be able to offer the old folk a chance to come home.”

Fiona Day, manager of Forth Bay Care Home, said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Scottish Miners Convalescent Trust for making Blair Castle available for our residents.

“It’s a fantastic location. You go up the drive and its like stepping through the wardrobe and into Narnia. It’s just so peaceful, and the residents will love the views and the beautiful gardens.

“But most of all the relatives and staff will love not having to make the two hour journey back and forward to Glenrothes.

“I have a dozen nursing and care staff as well as our catering and domestic teams travelling to and from Glenrothes every day, and although we lay on the transport it’s still an extra two hours on their day.

“A lot of the relatives find the journey really difficult, and miss the fact that they used to be able to visit their loved ones every day if they wanted when they were in Kincardine.