Ilford Park is based at Stover, near Newton Abbot in Devon, on the borders of the Dartmoor National Park
Described as the 'Little Poland in the heart of Devon', the Ilford Park Polish Home still upholds a promise made by Winston Churchill, following the Second World War, to recognise the sacrifice of the Polish people who fought under British Command or who had been held in Labour Camps. Poland was the fourth largest contributor to the Allied effort in Europe by the end of the War.
After the War, 130,000 Polish nationals came to this country under the terms of the 1947 Polish Resettlement Act. Residential camps, 46 in total, were created to house them. Only one remains open today - The Ilford Park Polish Home.
The Home no longer resembles the original camp after a re-build in the nineties. It now provides 81 residential and 14 nursing beds with five sheltered bungalows. A priority for the Home is to maintain links with Poland; so there is a Polish shop with a wide variety of Polish food on sale, residents also have access to Polish Television and Community teas are held each month where entertainment is traditional Polish songs.
Today, the Home, run by SPVA, continues to provide residential and nursing care to people who qualify for admission under the Act.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Home you can find further information on our website or listen to our podcast interview with Clare Thomas who manages the home.
So until the next post Do Widzenia!