Harwood House was built as a family house in the luxuriant Edwardian era. It was a happy home enjoyed by the same family for over eighty years in the beautiful National Trust village of Cookham Dean. Set on a hill with wonderful southern views across the Thames valley to Windsor Castle on the horizon, it is easy to understand why the family was reluctant to leave it.
For nearly twenty-five years it has been associated with another family. William Fitch was invited in the mid-nineties to become part of the management of Harwood House. The son of a minister of a large church in the city of Belfast, he grew up in a family that believed in showing love and kindness to those in need. For William that specifically became a heartfelt concern for those who need full time care at the end of life.
As a professional accountant, he had seen with dismay how unfeeling care homes can be when they are run solely for profit from a distant head office. For him, every resident should be treated with respect and cared for with love. His view is firmly shared by Morag Forsyth, who trained as an SRN (now known as Registered Nurses) in Glasgow. Moving south she joined the staff of Harwood House in December 1989. Today she is our Matron Director. Excellence in nursing is in her DNA; the comfort, safety and well-being of each resident is her priority. With a sense of humour, she cheerfully and efficiently keeps the show on the road supported by a very good team.
William’s son Michael continues to share his late father’s passion in the way we look after our residents. As owner and Director of the company he is in constant contact, visits frequently and is always willing to listen to residents and their relatives to understand their concerns. He constantly explores new and better solutions to keep us technologically up to date.
Morag and Michael have seen the house and gardens transformed in the last fifteen years to be the safe and elegant home it is today. The Garden Wing, opened by the Right Honourable Theresa May in 2010, is a superb addition to the old family house. The William Yeoward furniture in the sitting rooms, the paintings on the walls (many originals) reflect our shared concern to create a true home from home with touches of luxury.
Presiding over the grand staircase in Harwood House is a portrait of Michael’s Edwardian great grandfather. Harwood House is still a happy family home to this day. We invite you to come and join the family.
Harwood House Care Home in Cookham Dean near Maidenhead, Berkshire