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Housing Minister, Mark Prisk MP opens Riversmead’s flagship flexicare scheme in East Herts to provide older people a home for life

Posted: 4/5/2013 12:31:11 PM

Riversmead's flagship flexicare housing scheme, Calton Court in Hertford, was officially opened by Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Housing, at a celebratory event with residents on Friday 22 March 2013.

Developed as part of Riversmead’s older people’s strategy, the state-of-the art living complex provides an outstanding place for older and vulnerable people to live.

The completion of this £7 million high-quality development included a £3.5 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and £600,000 from East Herts Council.

The new Calton Court comprises 53 one and two bedroom flats. It features communal lounges, bathing spas and treatment room, hair and beauty salon, laundry room and internet area with Wi-Fi facilities. Hallways and rooms are large enough to accommodate wheelchairs, bathrooms are equipped with level access showers for ease of use and each floor is colour coordinated to aid orientation. The scheme also house’s local doctor’s surgery, Wallace House Branch Surgery, which is open to both Calton Court residents and the wider community.

As a flexicare housing scheme, tailored care and support is provided on site 24 hours a day by Saga Homecare, to meet residents' changing care needs.

Riversmead staff joined residents and their families, the project’s contractor Hill Partnerships, architect Kyle Smart Associates, local councillors and partners for the afternoon celebrations. Riversmead Chairman Kevin Brush and Mark Prisk MP spoke to guests about the development and the benefits it provides for the residents living at the scheme, and the wider community who can enjoy using the communal facilities.

A celebratory cake and ribbon were cut by Mark Prisk MP to commemorate the occasion, whilst resident Rene Lavelle received a bouquet of flowers as the oldest resident living at Calton Court at 97 years old.

Mark Prisk MP, said:

I was here at the beginning of the Calton Court project only a few years ago and it’s great to come back because it was just an idea then; a set of drawings. It’s only when you’ve built something you have an understanding of what it’s all about. I want to pay tribute to Riversmead for being forward thinking, not just about the bricks and mortar, but for what actually makes it a home; the facilities, the flexible care and the community support.

Paul Huckstep, Riversmead’s Executive Director, said:

This is our second flexicare scheme in East Herts, enabling us to offer more of our local older and vulnerable population a home for life in a beautiful setting.

Terry Fuller, Executive Director for the Homes and Communities Agency said:

I found the scheme to be inspiring. The thoughtful design throughout is a real pleasure to see and I am sure the residents will be very happy making it their home.

Kevin Brush, Riversmead’s Chair of the Board, said:

One of the things I love about Calton Court is that we have put older people back in to the centre of our community again. We have got a really great facility here, which has allowed residents to come from other family homes, releasing these vital homes back into the community.

I want to thank all of our partners for making this possible, but particularly I would like to thank our residents and their friends and families, because without their input Calton Court wouldn’t be what it is today.

Irene Mason has experienced first hand the benefits of living at Calton Court.

Irene lived in her three bedroom house in Hertford for 51 years before moving to a one bedroom flat at the scheme in January 2012.

She applied to move to downsize her home, but wanted to stay in the same area.

Irene said:

The location is great. I can bring my shopping in through my patio doors and enjoy watching the children walking past from school.

The carers and staff are so helpful – nothing is too much trouble.

Irene has no current care needs, but will be taking up an emergency package after her impending knee operation for extra support and assistance.

It’s a god send living here – I am so happy.

For more information about flexicare housing and Calton Court, please call Customer Services on 01992 514 514.

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