Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Caring, Community Feel to Award-Winning Development

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Caring, Community Feel to Award-Winning Development

Article excerpt

An award-winning housing development celebrated its first anniversary this week.

An extra-care housing development aimed at helping older people to live independent and fulfilling lives, Priory Court in Wardley, Gateshead is a 40-apartment development, designed and developed by Gateshead Council and housing association, Housing 21.

Mrs Carol Graham, 66, from Gateshead was among the 60 tenants and employees involved in the management and development of the scheme, who gathered to celebrate the end of the building's first year in operation with the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor David Lynn.

Mrs Graham, who has lived at Priory Court for more than a year, said: "Living here gives me a lot more independence and privacy. I previously lived in sheltered flats in Gateshead which were not that easy to move around in my wheelchair. I have much more space to move around here.

"I have my own kitchen and shower room in my apartment - both adapted for my use.

"Everything I could possibly need is here. I can even nip to the shop or the hairdressers on my own - it really is a self-contained community."

A mother of three and grandmother of five, Carol adds: "My daughter lives near enough to visit every day and often she takes me out but I don't depend on her or other people to do everything for me now which is a nice feeling.

"I've even made a couple of friends here and if I want to be sociable, I can go to the lounge or the restaurant and if I want to be on my own or spend time with my grandchildren, I've plenty of room in my apartment.

"It's important to older generations to keep their independence and their dignity in a safe environment with the support of professional care day and night - and this is what places like Priory Court offer."

Recognised with the top accolade in this year's This Caring Business/Pinders Healthcare Design Awards, an annual event that recognises the very best in building design in the care sector, Priory Court also scooped a Journal 21st Century Living Award last year for the Best Partnership Project. …

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