Cherry Tree was the vision of Ronnie Testa who was passionate about people and was keen to create something with meaning, a legacy.
Ronnie was also driven by his own family member who came to need a residential setting to keep them safe and cared for and there wasn’t anywhere where he felt met his expectations of what he wanted for them, so as a builder he found the plot of land and the rest is as they say history. In 1985, Ronnie’s vision became reality and he opened the doors to Cherry Tree.
Since those early days, Cherry Tree has grown from strength to strength. Starting out with just 12 staff, it opened as a nursing home; but today, Cherry Tree is proud to have become a specialist dementia care home and much more.
Over its 30 years, more than 200 residents have called Cherry Tree their home and the idea that it was always meant to be your home from home and not an institution has remained.
Cherry Tree opened on the 11th of September 1985, my 10th birthday, remembering names is not one of my strengths and it was a long time ago!, but I can remember the gentleman that moved in on our first day open and settled himself into room number one, Ken. He was paralysed by Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 21 but he never let his condition stop him, he flew on Concorde, he was a regular at The Midland Hotel, Manchester, for me I played board games with him, we adapted the game boards writing numbers and letters on so to play his move he’d just tell me the number or letter. Ken’s favourite game was Othello.
Fast forward 15 years and my Dad asked me to help with some admin, it was supposed to be a three-month sabbatical from my work, fast forward another twenty years and I am still here.
My Dad died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2003, a moment I thought I would never recover from, over time, when you lose the love of your life it opens your eyes to the finality of life and the need to grasp every day.
So, between my Dad and my memories of Ken, we have the legacy, two tremendous people taught us to aspire to ensure that at Cherry Tree you feel you have lived each day to your maximum enjoyment, are fulfilled, love your home and being part of a community and most importantly feel loved yourself.
Cherry Tree’s vision for care is embedded for future generations to come;