More de­men­tia homes as £15m cen­tre opens

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Nuts & Bolts - By Sam Wil­liams

Work to cre­ate a fur­ther 71 homes for the bor­ough’s age­ing res­i­dents has started.

The first phase of Far­row Court, a new de­men­ti­afriendly shel­tered hous­ing scheme owned and run by Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, is now com­plete and open.

Started in 2013, the build, off Stan­hope Road, in Stan­hope, now in­cludes 33 new homes, an Age UK day cen­tre, a large com­mu­nal area, se­cure gar­dens, ther­apy rooms, a restau­rant and an on-site hair sa­lon.

The de­sign of the build­ing has paid at­ten­tion to colour, vis­ual signs and day­light, aided by the big win­dows.

A res­i­dent-run shop is also due to open shortly.

The £15.4 mil­lion scheme, which has a strong fo­cus on be­ing de­men­tia-friendly, was opened last month when Ash­ford MP Damian Green, Mayor of Ash­ford Cll r Geral­dine Dyer and Cllr Paul Clokie, port­fo­lio holder for hous­ing, cut the rib­bon.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “It is the first fully de­men­ti­afriendly hous­ing scheme in the bor­ough.

“We are pre­par­ing for the needs of an age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

“By 2026, it is an­tic­i­pated that around 40% of res­i­dents in the Ash­ford bor­ough will be aged over 50.

“Be­tween 1998 and 2008, the num­ber of peo­ple in the bor­ough aged over 75 grew by 20%, sig­nif­i­cantly higher than across the South East.”

In a bid to bet­ter un­der­stand the par­tic­u­lar is­sues in­volved in car­ing for and talk­ing to peo­ple with de­men­tia, the coun­cil or­gan­ised a se­ries of work­shops for its staff in 2014.

Work has started on the se­cond phase of Far­row Court.

Just like phase one, work will be car­ried out by con­struc­tion com­pany Bouygues UK, for­mally Denne, which has set up a skills cen­tre on site.

Since 2013 it has sup­ported five ap­pren­tices, helped 157 peo­ple through their train­ing and qual­i­fi­ca­tions and run work­shops for chil­dren.

Phase two will in­clude 71 more homes, in­clud­ing 12 learn­ing dis­abil­ity units and eight re­cu­per­a­tive care units.

Work on this phase is ex­pected to be com­plete by the end of 2017.

Time-lapse video footage of the build can be viewed on YouTube via www.ash­ford.gov. uk/de­vel­op­ments-com­ing-soon

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Ava, three, was one of the first to read the book

Shel­tered hous­ing scheme Far­row Court, above, is now open af­ter the rib­bon was cut, right, last month

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