Community shop opens at Keelboat Lodge

Community shop opens at Keelboat Lodge

A new shop is up and running at our recently opened housing scheme for older people in Sunderland.

The shop at Keelboat Lodge in Hendon is being managed by local charity Community Help and Neighbourly Care for Everyone (CHANCE), and staffed by volunteer residents and local people keen to gain valuable retail work experience and training. Funding is being provided by the City Council’s East Area Committee

The development is the latest Extra Care housing scheme delivered in partnership between Sunderland City Council and Housing & Care 21. It provides self-contained retirement bungalows and apartments for sale or rent, with care and support services available on-site along with a range of facilities open to the wider local community, including a restaurant and hair salon.

The financial support provided by the council helped pay for stock and furnishings. CHANCE is responsible for the design, administration and ‘Nostalgia’ branding of the shop which is based on the success of a shop that opened earlier this year at our Dovecote Meadow development by Pallion Action Group, another voluntary sector group.

Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Services, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “When planning Keelboat Lodge we considered what local amenities were available, and what kind of facilities we might need to provide on-site for people living here.

“The new community convenience store provides a much needed resource previously lacking for both residents and their neighbours, because the nearest shops are not within easy walking distance for anyone with mobility problems.

“Working in partnership we identified this need, and got together to do something about it with the shop at Keelboat Lodge not only providing basic groceries for sale but also the opportunity for local people to get involved with training, employment and volunteering.”

Keelboat Lodge has been developed by Housing & Care 21 and Sunderland City Council, with partners the Homes and Communities Agency and Tolent Construction Ltd.

Claire Charlton, Head of Extra Care North said: “It is so important that the local community are engaged within our Extra Care housing schemes. We want to bring opportunities to the wider local community and we can do that by offering the shop, the restaurant and hair salon to enable local enterprise.”

CHANCE was established 21 years ago by local families living in Burleigh Garth, to create a support network within their community to provide people with access to advice, information and education and training opportunities. CHANCE is now based in Rickaby Street, and Keelboat Lodge is built on the land where Burleigh once stood before it was demolished as part of the regeneration of Hendon.

The charity has designed and fitted out the community shop and will manage it with staff and volunteers to provide local people with the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable experience.

Project Coordinator Sandra Hesslewood said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for CHANCE to work in partnership with our community. The project will also offer valuable experience for volunteers and an opportunity for young people in the area to gain a retail qualification and progress to other things.”

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