Waltham House

Background

Waltham House in Wirksworth opened in 2008 and provides 39 one and two bedroom apartments with a mix of tenures.

The apartments form part of an original Grade II listed building which was carefully restored to provide five of the apartments with the remainder being developed in a new building to the rear, formed around a central courtyard.

It was built following a partnership between Housing & Care 21, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council and the Wirksworth Care Centre Project.

On-site facilities include a: 

  • restaurant
  • communal lounge
  • conservatory
  • healthcare suite
  • library
  • visiting hairdresser.

Residents also benefit from:

  • laundry
  • buggy store
  • assisted bathroom
  • door entry system
  • emergency call facility via pull cord and pendant
  • guest suite for use by family and friends.

A day centre is also available at Waltham House and a community care service operates from the court. 

The court has an active, community atmosphere where residents enjoy regular activities, including: 

  • games and film afternoons
  • music (there are two pianos)
  • bingo
  • reading & listening groups
  • talks and coffee mornings.


Impact on Residents’ Lives

Madge

Madge was a 93 year-old tenant who came home from a short stay in hospital determined not to go back into hospital but to die in her own home. As her health deteriorated, Housing & Care 21 staff arranged night cover, and Madge was able to die, as she wanted, at home, surrounded by familiar faces. 

Billy

A volunteer who provides armchair aerobics, Billy started asking participants for details of their favourite music for the next class. After the session residents explained why their particular choices of music mean so much to them. This has revealed formative moments in residents’ lives – like the lady whose choice of music reminded her of the foster-mother she went to live with during World War II and whose family she remains in contact with to this day. 

Freya

Freya moved from Mull with her husband to Derby to be near their grown-up daughter. When her husband died, Freya was very lonely and moved in to Waltham House for companionship and security, and has become happily involved in the court social life.

Home Sales

Of the 39 units, 15 were intended for shared ownership and 10 for outright sale. Demand for all apartments was good and just one of the apartments intended for outright sale was later converted to rental. Today there is a waiting list for re-sale properties.

Waltham House’s town centre location have made it a popular choice, both for renting and for ownership. Being located just 20 yards from a bus stop and 100 yards from the local shop have undoubtedly helped in its popularity. The post office and local GP are also nearby.

Other factors include:

  • a community group who worked with developers right from the start and continue to engage with the scheme
  • an excellent Court Manager service
  • integrated services and facilities

Take a look at the Rural Media video on Waltham House.


Names have been changed to protect identities.