SPORTING hero Lawrie McMenemy opened a new facility for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s at Oakdene Care Home in Three Legged Cross on Thursday (November 8).

Some 90 guests watched as the former Southampton FC manager opened Acorn Lodge, a new purpose-designed facility, specially designed for people with the debilitating conditions.

And Acorn Lodge received a blessing from the vicar of Verwood, Rev Andrew Sinclair.

Mr McMenemy, 76, now spends a lot of his time on charity work. He is an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, fundraising president of the Hampshire Autistic Society and president of the Honorary Board of Special Olympics GB.

He said: “The disease can affect both younger and older people. Whatever their age, dementia sufferers need early diagnosis and specialist care to help prolong their quality of life.

“At the time when nothing further can be done to prevent dementia, then the best possible care needs to be found, as offered right here. I experienced dementia in my own family and so I felt compelled to help people understand more about dementia, which is why I became an Alzheimer’s Ambassador and why I am very pleased to declare Acorn Lodge open.”

He added: “Congratulations and well done to the team who created Acorn Lodge. Families in this area with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s or dementia will be looking for a place like Acorn Lodge.

“I believe that they will feel secure in entrusting their relatives into the best available around-the-clock care at Acorn Lodge.”

Manager of Acorn Lodge Kathy Milsom said: “It is our intention to provide a specialised but homely environment which will enhance the lives of people living with dementia. Acorn Lodge will be managed with the same care ethos as Oakdene Care Home, where we have built our reputation as a well-managed small and friendly care home, but with all modern facilities.”

Mr McMenemy is well known for his time in charge at Southampton, where he achieved the unlikely feat of guiding the team to FA Cup glory in 1976. His side overcame Manchester United to lift the trophy, despite being tipped for a heavy defeat.

For more information about Acorn Lodge and Oakdene Care Home visit