15 October 2010
Gloucester's flagship new village, which will provide affordable homes, care, security and a fulfilling lifestyle for the City's older people, celebrated its opening on Thursday October 14th. And it was obvious that all who attended were thrilled with what they saw as they toured the new development and talked to the people involved.
City resident Peggy Derbyshire (67), who lives alone and needs the kind of support available in the Village, joined development partners to cut the opening ribbon. For Peggy the Village will represent a new life at a cost she can afford and will end a period of isolation and ongoing concern about her future health and care.
The largest older peoples' scheme of its kind to be developed in Gloucester, St Oswald's Village could transform the quality of local elderly care and represents a significant milestone in the delivery of the City's older peoples' housing strategy.
In a partnership between Gloucester City Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Rooftop Housing Group, The Homes & Communities Agency and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, the £29m Village is already over subscribed with 500-plus applications for its 166 rental and purchase homes.
Funded through a £1m local appeal, set up by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, the Village Centre is equipped with 18 health and leisure facilities including a restaurant, fitness gym, IT suite, craft room, woodwork shop and greenhouse, all designed to enrich the lives of villagers, their families and visitors from across the wider community. A community choir - which entertained during the opening ceremony - and a gardening group are among the clubs established by residents who will help run the Village Centre, with the support of 105 newly recruited volunteers.
62 local staff have been recruited by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust including a fitness instructor, activities facilitator, Well-being Advisor and a team of qualified carers.
Throughout the Village's development, particular emphasis has been given to providing health and care support which reduces dependency, enabling those residents who need help to maintain choice and control in their later years. The Charity's award-winning Well-being programme is expected to increase measured health scores by over 10%, reducing dependency on GP services and local hospitals.
Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, commented: "This Village represents our partnership's combined efforts to deliver a new kind of housing that offers local people new opportunities, better health and care and a future that is safe and secure.
"We should recognise the talent and enthusiasm of the residents, staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to forge and develop a community which is already thriving, even before the first home has been occupied."
He presented gifts to partnership representatives, Councillor Andrew Gravells, Cabinet Member for Housing and Health on Gloucester City Council, Councillor Tony Hicks, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Gloucestershire County Council and Allan Brace, Vice-Chair of Evesham and Pershore Housing Association, who have all registered the same enthusiasm about the development and thanked the many people involved in its successful fruition.
For more information contact The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's PR Manager Richard Tower, on 0772 055 3658.