Centenarian celebrates new housing scheme

A new extra care scheme for older people in Walsall has been officially opened. To mark the occasion the Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Gary Clarke, presented a commemorative plaque to the residents of Knaves Court in Brownhills, including 100 year old Dorothy Bull, who was the first to move in.

Knaves Court, which was developed by Housing 21 in partnership with Walsall Borough Council, is the third extra care scheme to be built as part of the £165 million Walsall re-provision project to transform the housing and care of older people across the borough. Representatives of the project partners had the opportunity to meet the residents and staff of the 60 apartment scheme, many of whom moved across from the now closed St James Resource Centre.

Dorothy Bull said: “I was the first person to move into Knaves Court in September after living at St James. I celebrated my 100th Birthday last month and I am really happy here. I think it is a wonderful place; the staff here are lovely.”

Les Clarke, director of services for Housing 21 said:

“It’s wonderful to see how quickly the new residents have settled into their new homes, particularly those who have moved back into independent living. I’m also delighted with the popularity of the on-site restaurant, shop and hairdressing salon – it’s really pleasing to see local businesses benefiting from this development.”

Built on the gateway into Brownhills, Knaves Court provides residents and members of the local community with a restaurant, hairdressing salon, shop and day centre.  The one and two bedroom apartments are designed for independent living and each have a living room, fully fitted kitchen, walk-in shower and non-slip flooring to the kitchen and bathroom. Some residents have purchased their new home on a shared-ownership basis.

Councillor Mike Bird, Walsall Council Leader, said:

"The opportunity for residents to socialise with the wider community as well as their neighbours is one of the best features about the Extra Care schemes we have in Walsall. This is particularly beneficial for people who may not have families living locally and would otherwise feel a little isolated."

Knaves Court gets its name from “Knave's Castle", a colloquial name for the nearby ancient burial mound and Roman guard post on Watling Street, one of the UK's main Roman roads.

Editor’s notes

For further information, please contact Wendy Gornicki, PR & Information Officer, Housing 21 on 0370 192 4338 or email wendy.gornicki@housing21.co.uk

Housing 21’s mission is to promote independence and choice for older people through quality care, health and housing services. It provides around 126,000 hours of community care each week and manages 17,800 sheltered and extra care apartments.