40 Faces of Brendoncare – Janet Budd

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: April 25, 2024

To celebrate our charity’s 40th anniversary this year, our latest 40 Faces of Brendoncare is Janet Budd. She is one of our Vice Patrons, who worked for a trust that was a forerunner to Brendoncare.


Janet was committee secretary of the charitable trust that ran Meadway and Rosemary Holt residential homes in St Cross. These had been acquired by Phoebe Bacon in 1966-67 when she was pioneering her concept of care for older people that later led to Brendoncare’s foundation in 1984.

She was responsible for running the two homes that became ‘Brendon Houses’ then ‘Meadway Houses’.

“There were eight residents in each house,” Janet recalls. “But there were no such things as ensuite bathrooms in those days. One poor lady had to walk across an open space to get to her loo!


“They also had kettles and toasters in their rooms which helped them to stay independent. If they wanted to help with the tea or in the garden, they did.

“I also remember that you had to keep the rooms at a certain temperature. However, it was much too hot for the residents back then because they were all of a generation that weren’t used to warm houses.”

Growing financial overheads resulted in the committee, of which Janet was now Chair, deciding to dispose of Rosemary Holt. Meadway was offered to Brendoncare and is still one of its seven care homes.


Giving up her role with the Meadway Houses, Janet worked as the Independent Listener at Winchester College for 25 years.

Janet’s relationship with Brendoncare changed significantly when her husband David who she was married to for 60 years, was diagnosed with dementia. This happened at a time when Janet was also very unwell.

“My daughter Sarah said I could not keep David at home with me. Otterbourne Hill was not completed by then, so he moved into another Winchester care home.

“Sarah and I went to the opening of Otterbourne Hill by the Duchess of Edinburgh when I was still ill. There, Sarah said to me, ‘Why is Daddy not here?’ The whole concept of Otterbourne Hill was so much better for him so we moved him there where he received the most wonderful care, and it is where he died. I could not fault them for everything they did for us.”


As a Vice-Patron, what does Brendoncare mean to Janet? “I think it is a very worthy charity that does fantastic work. I have seen the changes over the years – and they are all for the better. It is also a very forward-thinking organisation, always looking to the future.

“It always provides a wonderful service, and it undertakes to keep people in its homes through its Care for Life promise, which is hugely important.”

Janet also believes having the right staff is very important. “If you get good staff, you are made. To do the job, you actually have to quite like older people and have a caring nature. Even if you are cleaning their rooms, you can have a bit of chit chat. It really does make a big difference to everybody.”