Sunderland £10million old people's home to create 80 new jobs

Left to right: Abbeyfield North Division Manager Jacquelene Notman; Sunderland City Council Silksworth Ward Coun Peter Gibson;Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, Coun  Graeme Miller, Tolent Construction Manager Ian Pratt; Sunderland City Council Head of Housing Support and Community Living, Alan Caddick
Left to right: Abbeyfield North Division Manager Jacquelene Notman; Sunderland City Council Silksworth Ward Coun Peter Gibson;Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, Coun Graeme Miller, Tolent Construction Manager Ian Pratt; Sunderland City Council Head of Housing Support and Community Living, Alan Caddick
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A £10million old people's home in Sunderland is set to create 80 new jobs.

Work has started on the housing and care development in Silksworth, which will be one of older people’s charity Abbeyfield's largest projects of its kind.

Once complete the purpose-built scheme will provide full-time independent living with care facilities and will create 80 jobs.

The £10million three-storey home - Abbeyfield’s first on Wearside - is expected to begin welcoming residents in early 2018.

It will provide 75 one and two bedroom flats offering independent living for older people at affordable rents, as well as additional care services via 24-hour staff support.

Recruitment to roles - including maintenance, chefs, front-of-house and care staff - will begin later this year.

Abbeyfield is working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and building contractor, Tyneside-based Tolent Construction, on the facility overlooking the Tunstall Hills.

The project is being jointly funded by Abbeyfield and the Homes and Communities Agency.

Project lead Jacquelene Notman said: “This is the first time Abbeyfield has undertaken a 75-unit scheme in a location which is new to us.

“As a charity we are governed by need, and this is a real opportunity for us to offer older people living in and around the Sunderland area an exciting new facility which combines Abbeyfield’s ethos of providing the best service of care and housing, and to be a champion for older people in the community.

“Abbeyfield is a charity dedicated to making the lives of older people easier and more fulfilling, while enabling them to live their lives as independently as they wish with the safety net of a caring environment.

“Silksworth is an important development for Abbeyfield that will provide older people with the ability to live independently, while enjoying the security and confidence of knowing additional round-the-clock support and care is on hand if needed, all in an attractive, modern, purpose-built environment.”

Abbeyfield is working with the NHS in Sunderland to provide space for drop-in sessions.

The new facility will also include communal lounge areas that neighbours will be welcome to visit, as well as a relaxation centre created with money from The Hospitals Saturday Fund, where residents will be able to indulge in a range of beauty and holistic treatments and have access to a professional hair salon.

Mrs Notman said: “Not only will Silksworth provide a good quality of life for residents who will be able to live and thrive within their own community, it will also be an important asset that those living locally can share in.”

Sunderland-based Ian Potts of Eon Arts is creating bespoke prints and textiles and sourcing materials and items that have a direct link to Silksworth and the area in general, for the development.

Funding is also currently being sought for Mr Potts to work post-opening alongside residents who may wish to create their own art pieces to personalise outdoor spaces.

Mrs Notman added: “Once the Silksworth development is complete, not only will it help improve the quality of life and independent living for residents, it will provide much-needed share facilities for the area’s wider community.”

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, Coun Graeme Miller said: “I’m delighted that Abbeyfield has chosen to invest in our city.

“Sunderland has developed a national reputation for its approach to providing supported accommodation for older people, and the scheme at Silksworth being built with Abbeyfield is the latest development which will not only meet a wide range of accommodation and care needs but is also designed to improve the health and well-being of all those living there. “We look forward to working with Abbeyfield and our community partners to make this scheme a real success. We also welcome the continuing support of the Homes and Communities Agency who have helped to fund this latest project.”

Tolent’s Regional Director, David Thompson, added: “Tolent are really pleased to be working on our first project with Abbeyfield on these 75 purpose built apartments in Silksworth on what is a much-needed, new independent living with care facility for older people, in Wearside.

“Construction is progressing well and we look forward to completing the development in winter 2017.”

The development is open to couples or single people aged 55 and over who are in receipt of care.

For more information, call 0113 467 2830 or email: silksworth@abbeyfield.com