New children’s home opens in Wick
Avonlea, a new five bedded purpose built residential unit for young people has opened in Wick.
Providing excellent modern facilities with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Avonlea on West Banks Avenue replaces the Northcote Street residential unit which was built in the 1970s and deemed no longer fit for purpose.
Following a decision by The Highland Council in 2011 to create a new unit close to local amenities and the school, over the past three years a number of residents and staff have been involved in the planning, design and decor of Avonlea.
Council staff in Avonlea work around the clock to provide 24 hour care for 5 children aged 12- 16 years. Facilities in the new accommodation includes a large living room, a dining room, kitchen with separate utility room, a family room, a quiet room, an office area, staff accommodation, and 5 bedrooms with en-suite facilities for the young people.
Unit Manager Tracey Taylor said: “There has been a lot of hard work and effort to get Avonlea right for the residents and it is rewarding to see the happiness of the young people and staff in their new home. Heartfelt thanks to all who have been involved in the process.”
Caithness Civic Leader and local Councillor, Gail Ross was at the official opening and after meeting staff she was taken on a tour of their new home by the young people. She said: “The staff at the Wick Children’s Centre always provided good support to the children who lived there. This new building provides a high quality environment, allowing the staff to provide even better care. I am sure both the children and the staff will enjoy their new home.”
Avonlea was designed in house by the Council’s Wick-based Architect Claire MacKenzie. Macgregor's Construction was awarded the contract to carry out the build and subcontracted much of the work to local business during the development.
The Highland Council’s Children’s Champion, Councillor Linda Munro was also at the official opening. She said: “This Council places a high priority on providing good care for its looked after children. This new building completes the programme of refurbishment of all of our residential units, ensuring excellent facilities in Caithness and across the authority.”