Landmark for city charity as Worcestershire’s first of a kind retirement community completes
Whiston Court is the first development of its kind to be created in the county and has been built in White Ladies Close, near Upper Tything.
Featuring 37 one-and two-bedroom apartments, now available to buy or rent, as well as communal areas including, a health and beauty salon and landscaped gardens, the ambitious development is aimed at those over 55 who want to live independently but require some level of support or assistance and strongly focuses on the benefits of living within a community.
Completion of the ground-breaking £6 million development is the culmination of years of extensive research, sourcing of funds and planning by a small group of dedicated trustees and employees from the Abbeyfield Worcester Society, a charity committed to combatting loneliness and isolation and championing the needs of older people in the county.
It marks the realisation of a dream for the charity’s seven trustees – a group of local professionals, all but one retired, with experience in fields from construction and banking to medicine and engineering, as well as four dedicated charity employees. Collectively, they have been working tirelessly to bring the project to fruition after deciding to embark on the ambitious challenge almost five years ago.
The charity itself had been providing accommodation and support services for up to nine older people on a rental basis in a grade II listed Georgian house in Green Hill, off the London Road, since its launch 45 years ago.
However, charity chairman Gerald Harris explained that the facilities, design and accommodation within the new development were way above and beyond anything that would have been possible in the former building.
“Though our Green Hill property had been adapted and extended over the years, its facilities and space were limited, and we could not provide the kind of accommodation that we aspired to - that which would meet the needs of the greater numbers of retired people who want to retain their independence, but enjoy the benefits that community living brings – something that is at the very heart of the Abbeyfield charity.
“This was a huge project for us, especially as we as a charity had never taken on something of this scale and ambition before, but by pooling all of our collective professional experience and by working very closely with the architects and builders Thomas Vale, we have achieved something that has exceeded all of our expectations.”
He added: “To say that we are delighted with Whiston Court is an understatement. For years, our charity has been working to make the lives of older people in Worcestershire easier and more fulfilling, and we are now proud to have created a safe, stylish and caring environment, right in the heart of Worcester city centre, in which people can enjoy their older years without having to worry about being re-located or re-housed as their care needs increase.”
Each of the development’s one- or two-bedroom apartments include a bathroom and fully-equipped kitchen, enabling residents to live entirely independently, whilst being able to enjoy a range of on-site services, including eating a meal together daily in the communal restaurant area, getting help with cleaning, transport and personal care and using the residents’ health and beauty salon. A range of optional on-site activities is also planned.
Funding for the project has been primarily generated by the sale of the charity’s Green Hill property, money left to the charity in legacy donations and loans from Lloyds Bank and the Abbeyfield Worcester Society’s parent charity Abbeyfield – an international provider of accommodation, support services and care for older people.
Two current residents from the charity’s Green Hill property are moving into Whiston Court, having been given first choice of the apartments on offer, while the remaining residents have chosen to move to other Abbeyfield–run accommodation elsewhere in the country to be nearer to family members.
Apartments within Whiston Court are now available through Connells Estate agents and the Whiston Court on-site sales office will be open from Tuesday 22nd March.
For more details about the development contact Connells on 01905 611411.
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