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A Brief History of Yass Valley Aged Care

On the 18th of October 2011 Yass Valley Aged Care Ltd formally assumed all functions of Yass Valley Aged Care Services and in so doing, established an independent, community owned not-for-profit company to undertake the provision of services for the frail and aged in Yass Valley. The establishment of the new company was the culmination of many years of services delivered by Horton House and Gwen Warmington Lodge, initially individually and later as an amalgamated organisation.

Gwen Warmington Lodge commenced operations in November 1979 following provision of a grant to the then Yass Municipal Council for an Aged Persons Hostel. This grant was supplemented by significant community donations, and the hostel was governed by a voluntary committee, led by Mrs Gwen Warmington for whom the Hostel was named. The original site for the building was in Rossi Street, where it remained until the organisation was co-located with Horton House in Castor Street in 2007. At this time, the governance of both Horton House and Warmington Lodge was undertaken by Yass Valley Aged Care Services with a combined Board of Management.

Horton House commenced operations in September 1992 as a Nursing Home delivering care to residents with high level care requirements. Elsie Horton provided a bequest following her death in 1981, for the purpose of establishing a nursing home. The Yass Committee for the Care of the Aged was formed following a public meeting to establish the need for a nursing home, and this Committee, together with the trustees of the Elsie Horton bequest, successfully applied for a grant from the Australian government to construct the nursing home.

Fundamental to the establishment of Horton House was the creation in 1991 of the Yass Nursing Home Foundation, whose purpose was to direct and oversee a community fund raising program to supplement the bequest and the grant. In the midst of an enduring drought, the Yass community raised one third of the total funding for the project – a superlative effort.

Once Horton House was opened under the governance of an elected, community based management committee, the Yass Committee for the Care of the Aged was dissolved and its functions were then undertaken by the Horton House Committee.

As noted above, the amalgamation of Horton House and Warmington Lodge became necessary due to the original Lodge building no longer meeting Fire safety requirements and the care needs of its residents having increased. Thus the co-location project was launched.

Again, with a grant from the Australian government and another massive fund raising drive by the re-invigorated and renamed Yass Aged Care Foundation, a new Warmington Lodge was constructed on the then undeveloped portion of the Horton House site.

The community of the Yass Valley has provided not only considerable donations for the construction of each of our residential facilities, but also ongoing support for the organisation through many activities. It is therefore fitting that Board members of Yass Valley Aged Care Ltd, see themselves as custodians of the Company on behalf of the community.

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