Martial arts to mark opening of ‘Bruce Roper’ lounge in Nelson care home

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NELSON Manor Care Centre is officially opening a new Bruce Roper Lounge to commemorate “a life less ordinary”.

The 70-bed care facility in Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, has separate floors for residential, nursing and dementia care.

Manager Janine Kelly explained: “The Bruce Roper Lounge will be a quiet place where residents with dementia can sit with their family, but it will also be a place for social activities, hobbies, new interests and therapy.

“It is very fitting that it is to be named after a man whose life and family have made such a big impression on the home.”

One of the first activities in the new Bruce Roper lounge will be a martial arts display by his grandson, Ben Whitehead, and other members of Burnley’s Black Knights Martial Arts club. The display will be a central part of the opening ceremony on Tuesday at 6 p.m.


Bruce Roper only lived in Nelson Manor Care Centre a relatively short period of time. However, since then, his family have been very active in raising awareness of dementia, and fund-raising for other sufferers and their families.

Bruce’s son, Gavin Roper, said: “My dad was a very active and busy man, who was robbed of so much when he was struck down with dementia. It was a terrible time for him and also for all of us. The Alzheimer’s Society and Nelson Manor gave us immeasurable support and comfort.

“My dad used to run martial arts clubs for Burnley and Pendle people and it’s so great the first activity in the new lounge will be Ben and his team going through their paces.”

Manager Janine Kelly added: “We are looking forward to welcoming Bruce’s family back to Nelson Manor for the naming ceremony. Sweets will certainly feature on the buffet, as Bruce will be long remembered here for his sweet tooth!”

As part of his fund-raising for the Alzheimer’s Society and Nelson Manor Care Home, Gavin is currently training to climb to the Everest base camp next year. He is also organising a Comedy Cabaret Night.

For further details and to sponsor Gavin, or make a donation, log on to and click on Donations. All money raised by Gavin will be divided between the residents’ fund and Alzheimer’s Society.