Extra Care housing programme brings job boost for Sunderland
A further three retirement housing schemes have now been completed in Sunderland in an innovative partnership between Housing & Care 21 and Sunderland City Council.
Each scheme provides fantastic, modern accommodation for sale and for rent, available for people aged 55 and over who want to downsize, and for those who have a care and support need, including those with disability and with a dementia diagnosis.
Representatives from Housing & Care 21, Sunderland City Council and developers Keepmoat joined together on Wednesday 18 March to celebrate a milestone in the ambitious development programme and mark the completion of the final phase at Dovecote Meadow, which is located in Ford Estate.
Dovecote Meadow provides 175 modern two-bedroom self-contained apartments, with care services onsite and a range of communal facilities. It was recently shortlisted in the 2015 Housing Innovation Awards. The newly completed final phase includes apartments and communal areas specially designed for people living with dementia.
Housing & Care 21 has also recently completed development of Keelboat Lodge, an Extra Care scheme in Hendon, and a development of retirement bungalows in Bardolph Drive, Southwick. In total, Housing & Care 21 has developed 470 properties across seven schemes since 2009. It brings with it a capital investment of £74 million into Sunderland.
Each scheme creates apprenticeship opportunities, as well as work in the construction industry and for trade suppliers and sub-contractors. Longer term, the housing schemes require management staff, operational care and support services and maintenance service provision. Housing & Care 21 calculates that, so far, it alone has created just under 240 jobs through the programme. That figure is due to rise to a minimum of 360 jobs when the programme is complete and recruitment finishes early in 2016.
Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said that this amount of investment in a single programme in Sunderland was ‘unprecedented’.
“For one key partner to invest over £70 million into our city and into our communities demonstrates exactly what can be achieved by working in a true partnership approach,” he added.
“We always knew that the Extra Care housing programme was a good model to be introduced into Sunderland.
“It is providing a wider housing choice to our older households, while releasing under-occupied family homes back into the wider housing market.
“However, I am proud that this programme is also creating new jobs, new training opportunities and has provided a significant employment boost to the city. This is great news for our city, our communities and our economy.”
Anita Moss, aged 52, has been employed as a Senior Care Worker at Dovecote Meadow for just over a year.
Anita started working as a carer on the night shift and made herself available to work day shifts as well when requested, to get to know residents better. She then moved to the day shift, and successfully applied for a Senior Care Worker position.
She said: “Coming to work for Housing & Care 21 has been a great career move for me. Not only did I get training and employment in a job I love, but I very quickly got opportunities to increase my hours and then received a promotion, it was more than I could have expected in such a short period of time”.
Fellow colleague Alma Pyle, aged 57, was employed by Housing & Care 21 after two years off work due to ill health.
She said: “After being out of work for over two years I was worried about getting another job and having the confidence to start again. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me and I have enjoyed this even more than I expected. It has opened up lots of opportunities for my own personal development and has completely built up my confidence again. I now have numerous additional skills, as well as the satisfaction of a job well done.”
Claire Charlton, Head of Extra Care Housing for Housing & Care 21, said: “These job opportunities are great news for local people. We always aim to recruit people from the community around each new scheme, as this helps build a good relationship with local people from the outset and ensures that Housing & Care 21 is investing into the local community around each scheme."
She added that the jobs created include service team managers, care coordinators, administrators, senior care workers, care workers and domestic staff.
For more information contact Joy Dixon, Care Administrator, on 0370 192 4000.
Recruitment opportunities can also be found using our online job search.