Holderness House Thomas Ference Care Home confirms closure


A care home in a historic building bequeathed by philanthropist Thomas Ference will close this year, administrators have confirmed.

Holderness House Care Home is located in the former Grade II listed home of Methodist, MP for Hull and managing director of nearby Reckitts. Thomas Ference was one of Hull’s most philanthropic men, providing land on the boating lake in East Park and funding the construction of 12 almshouses on Holderness Road.

He also donated funds to Hull University and the establishment of an art gallery in the city centre. This gallery still bears his name. After his death at Holderness House on May 9, 1930, the house was bequeathed in his will to be used as a ‘home of rest for poor gentlemen of disadvantaged circumstances’. .

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However, the latest report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the single-pane windows in the 186-year-old home could pose a risk to residents, giving the care home a ‘good’ rating. was downgraded to “requires improvement.” . Relatives of care home residents said they had six months until they had to leave.

Holderness House’s board of trustees said in a statement: “In 1930 Sir Thomas Ference established the Thomas Ference Charity for Rest Homes, which built Holderness House and its properties for the benefit of local residents. He bequeathed the land and financial investment.” As part of our philanthropic investment in the city, Holderness House has a particular focus on women in distress.

Thomas Ference as a Young Man - Credit: Richard AddisonThomas Ference as a Young Man - Credit: Richard Addison

Thomas Ference as a Young Man – Credit: Richard Addison

“In its initial donation, this gift to our city and its people focused on independent housing, but the women who have benefited from the home and its grounds for many years needed further support. As such, the trust’s focus shifted to providing additional care and it was later registered as a care home with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“Holderness House and its team support hundreds of local women and their families, providing them with quality care in a location of outstanding historic beauty in East Hull, as well as providing them with a home in their later years. We have provided a place where you can call yourselves.

“As trustees of the charity, with the available evidence and the support of our legal, financial and care advisers, we have begun the process of formal closure as a registered care home and the re-provision of care and support. We have made the difficult decision to offer alternative locations to all residents.

“Recent building condition surveys and CQC inspections both pointed to significant issues with the building, and the difficult decisions taken by the management committee will ensure the long-term safety of the current occupants, our team and the building. It was further confirmed that it was in the best interests of

“During our time as a care home, the world of health and social care has experienced major changes and challenges, and in recent years the global pandemic has stretched resources to the limit, but the team at Holderness House continued to provide care” and compassion for all residents.

“Over the years, the board and management team have worked tirelessly to balance the plan’s books and limitations to uphold the standard of care, remembering our obligation to protect this original gift for future generations. I’ve been working on it.

“While many similar commercial homes in historic and older buildings have been forced to close due to these pressures, we have spent the past 10 years considering all available options in line with our trustee duties. However, we have remained resilient and continued our service for as long as possible.

“Although still under development, our original plans include moving the site and site back to provide independent housing and give the local community greater access to our land. and this brings us closer to Sir Thomas Ference’s original will and purpose for the house and associated assets.

“The most important thing for us to think about in the next stage of the process is our current residents, their families and our staff teams.As a charity rather than a for-profit organization, we are making this difficult but informed decision. We have the resources to support this change proactively and at a pace that supports everyone involved, rather than waiting until a crisis occurs. It gives you the ability to make changes.

“We will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure this process is carried out with the utmost care and with the least amount of distress and anxiety for each resident and their family.

“Resources are available for stakeholder engagement and we will continue to provide further relevant and timely updates through the most relevant communication channels.Finally, the Holderness House team continues I would like to put on record my gratitude for your hard work and consideration.”


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