By Simon Rothstein
Jewish Care’s new Redbridge development has been given a huge boost thanks to generous donations from Lord Alan Sugar and his family, together with the Ronson family via The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation.
Described as ‘game-changing’ by the charity, the pledges will help to fund the exciting new Jewish Care Redbridge Care and Community Campus development.
Due to open in the summer of 2025, subject to planning permission, the campus will be situated on the current Redbridge Jewish Community Centre (RJCC) site, previously known as Sinclair House. It will be comprised of a community centre space, which will house a centre for people living with dementia along with a 66-bed care home, replacing Vi & John Rubens House in Gants Hill. Additionally, Jewish Care’s local social work and meals on wheels teams will be based on site.
Despite these new commitments from the Sugar and Ronson families, plus funds already raised by the Redbridge Aid Golf Society, Jewish Care still needs to find the remaining £5million needed to complete the project. The charity has launched a campaign to raise the money from the local community.
Welcoming the donations, Phillip Leigh – life president of the RJCC and chair of the Essex Jewish News said:
“I am delighted to see these wonderful donations towards the new Redbridge Campus. As you can see from the photograph, this is the not the first time that the Sugar and Ronson families have dug deep to help us.
“This photo brought back special memories of my good friends Frank Cass and Ellis Birk, both regrettably of blessed memory, who along with myself were instrumental in negotiating the amalgamation of Sinclair House with Jewish Care way back in 1985.
“It is exciting to see that, at long last, we are now reaching the actual beginning of the project that we kicked into play some 20 years ago“Let’s hope that our passionate Essex Jewish community now support us in making up the shortfall required to complete this long awaited landmark for our local community.”
The Sugar family have been long standing supporters of Jewish Care, showing unwavering commitment to the organisation over many decades.
Lord Sugar said: “We are proud to be supporting the exciting development of a new care and community campus in Redbridge. Our family have had a long and deep association with Jewish Care’s services in Redbridge, where my late mother was a resident at Vi & John Rubens House. We are absolutely delighted to be helping our older community live with dignity and compassion in facilities that deliver high quality care on a state-of-the-art campus.
“We hope our commitment will be a catalyst for other local supporters to join us and the Ronson family in making this project a reality, which the Essex and East London community truly deserves and can rightfully feel proud of.”
Gerald Ronson CBE and Dame Gail Ronson DBE too have been avid and generous supporters of Jewish Care, including funding the thriving Ronson Family Community Centre in Harrow.
Dame Ronson said: ““I have had the privilege of being involved with Jewish Care for over 30 years as a trustee and now as an honorary president and our family are delighted to be involved with this vital project to support the community in Essex and East London.
“Our connection with the Redbridge community goes back many decades now from when I first became involved in the organisation in 1983 where the Sinclair House site was then an independent community centre that was on the brink of closure.
“Gerald and I wanted to do all we could to help save it and hosted a fundraising event, which we were delighted stopped it from closing, and have had the privilege of seeing it thrive. We are delighted to play our role in establishing a new facility for the next generation in a community which we know is so very special.”