Official opening for Bristol extra care

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Peter Main, officially opened a new extra care scheme for older people in Stockwood yesterday. Bluebell Gardens in Hollway Road is the latest extra care scheme to be delivered by leading Housing 21, a leading provider of housing, care and health services for older people.

The Lord Mayor was joined for the celebration by residents and members of Housing 21, Bristol City Council, Leadbitters and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). After presenting the scheme with a commemorative plaque, Cllr Main enjoyed a tour of the scheme, which provides 61 one and two bedroom apartments for people aged 55 and over.  

Commenting on the development Cllr Peter Main said: "Extra care housing can provide the best of both worlds.  It offers everything traditional residential care can, but also has significantly more to offer in respect of accommodation and facilities. It is for people who need support, but is also an attractive choice for people who simply need some extra help with day to day living or who anticipate they may need support in the future.  Bluebell Gardens has the best of what this housing has to offer in the heart of a Bristol community.  I hope to see many more developments in the city like this that offer older people a choice of housing options."

One of the residents celebrating the opening was 65 year old John Ahearne, who moved to Bluebell Gardens in July. John, who is disabled, was living in a four bedroom house when his wife passed away after 42 years of marriage. With deteriorating health he found it increasingly difficult to cope.

Commenting on the move to his two bedroom apartment, John said: “It’s really lovely and it was definitely the right move for me. I get regular care from a fantastic team. I can stay in and be quiet if I want to but when I step outside there is always someone to talk to. Having the second bedroom also means that my three sons and four grandchildren can come and stay over, so it’s worked out really well for me.”

Apartments at Bluebell Gardens offer options for affordable rent and for shared ownership. The scheme boasts a number of beneficial communal facilities, including a residents’ lounge, dining facilities, hairdressing salon, activity room, landscaped gardens and a guest room for the use of family and friends.

Tayo Bilewu, Director of Property for Housing 21 said: “I’m delighted that we have marked the official opening of this lovely facility. With more and more people enjoying longer lives there is going to be an increasing need for housing with care and support, designed to meet their changing needs. Bluebell Gardens is an excellent example of how we can enable older people to enjoy a life of choice.”

Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter’s Western division, added: “Leadbitter is proud of its very long and successful relationship with Housing 21. Our skills and experience, together with this established relationship have ensured that Bluebell Gardens is high quality development, which residents will enjoy for many years to come.”

Bluebell Gardens replaces an old sheltered housing scheme that used to be on the site. The £8.1 million complex, which received £3.6 million of investment from the HCA, allows residents to enjoy independent living in comfortable and well equipped apartments, whilst still having 24 hour care and support on hand, tailored to individual need.