An ancient Hartlepool charity is looking forward to the beginning of a new chapter as it gets set to welcome a new director.
It is soon to be the end of an era for David Granath who is retiring as director of the Hospital of God in Greatham after almost 18 years in charge.
Taking over the reins is Lawrence Mcanelly who yesterday attended the organisation’s annual garden party for staff and clients.
The Hospital of God was founded in 1273 by Robert de Stichell, the Bishop of Durham to care for poor and elderly people.
Today, it runs four day centres for people with dementia or memory problems, has a residential care home, nursing home and over 100 homes for older people as well as giving grants to voluntary organisations.
Mr Granath said: “The thing I will miss the most is the people that we help and the people that work here.
“There is a fantastic team here, people are really committed to the organisation.
“We have done so much for Hartlepool in terms of care services and housing.
“We are proud to be part of Hartlepool. The organisation is five times bigger than when I first came here.”
In addition to its residential and nursing care, the charity has done a lot of work in recent years to help people to stay in their own homes for longer and support people to return home from hospital.
Another recent venture is The Bridge, a one stop shop for dementia support in Hartlepool town centre.
Mr Mcanelly said he was looking forward to continuing the level of support.
He said: “It’s great to be involved with so many people that genuinely care with a smile on their face.
“The Hospital of God is unique; everything it does and it’s history.
“It has a unique place in our community.”