Work begins today on a new £10.5m care hub at the heart of Whiteley Village in Surrey, further expanding care services and capacity at Britain's oldest retirement village. Finance for the project has been secured from two of the UK's most prominent social lenders, Triodos Bank and Unity Trust Bank. Dominic Raab MP, Minister of State for Housing, launched the construction at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Opening in March 2019, the new care hub will revolutionise the way Whiteley offers clinical care within the community, providing intensive care capacity for up to 30 people with complex needs associated with old age. This includes space for visiting families to stay with their loved ones, consultation rooms for visiting health professionals from the local GP practice/NHS, therapy space, and a large café to provide a new social venue at the heart of the village.
Chandra McGowan, Chief Executive of The Whiteley Homes Trust, said:"The new care hub marks the start of the next chapter in the history of Whiteley Village. Quality of life for our residents has always been our passion, working together with residents to support the whole community to age well within their own homes. The addition of new facilities from which we can deploy up-to-date clinical care will further enhance life for people today and in the future."
Triodos Bank, the UK's leading sustainable bank, and Unity Trust Bank have provided a total of £16m towards the development work at the village. Both lenders are committed to using finance to support care service providers who demonstrate a human-centred approach at the heart of their organisational culture.
The £21m project will transform Whiteley's current operational model into a collaborative social care framework. Once the care hub is complete, the remainder of the financing in phase 1 will be used to redevelop Whiteley House, adding 39 individual extra care apartments. Phase 2 will include additional alms houses in the future.
Matt Conroy, relationship manager at Triodos Bank, said:"With this innovative new care hub, Whiteley Village is at an exciting stage in its 100-year history. At Triodos, we want to make sure that organisations like Whiteley get the financial support they need to shape a future world that's better for us all. The benefits of collaborative care are obvious, and Whiteley is creating a model of care that places human dignity at its very core."
Castleoak, a specialist partner in the design and build of quality care homes will design and build the new care hub. The project started on site this month. "Castleoak is delighted that Whiteley Village has chosen to partner with us on this important new care hub. We value the opportunity to create quality living space for residents,"said Craig Currie, Chief Executive at Castleoak.
Chandra McGowan added:"Celebrating our centenary in 2017, we set out to turn the traditional care model on its head with a new cross-functional approach that puts residents' needs at the core of how we care for people. Illness in older age is very stressful, but much of it can be prevented or alleviated if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. However, many older people struggle to get to the doctor or don't like to go, so when simple medical interventions are delivered in conjunction with NHS colleagues, where people feel most comfortable - in the familiarity of their own homes - it eases the burden on everyone: patient, family, care staff and the NHS. The new care hub is a demonstrable expression of our care for current and future generations of residents at Whiteley Village."
Opened in 1917, the village is run by the Whiteley Homes Trust, providing homes for up to 500 pensioners of limited financial means. The expansion builds on Whiteley Village's successful care model of promoting community living among residents, leading to enhanced quality of life, reduced social isolation and greater independence. In February 2017, Cass Business School published research showing that people - especially women - living at Whiteley Village enjoy up to 5 extra years of life than the national average.
About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €13.5 billion (2016) in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.
With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 43 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.
Castleoak offers smart solutions to the care, assisted and retirement living sectors.
We offer a rich development solution that includes demographic and care gap analysis, land finding, acquisition and planning, project and operational feasibility. We also align funding solutions. We offer a choice of design and build solutions including in-house manufacturing of timber frame and light weight steel frame structures. A dedicated after care team provides support following project hand over.
We work with many of the leading care and retirement living operators across the UK, and many have chosen to work with us for more than 10 years. Today, 92% of projects are from returning customers. Since 1996 we've delivered over 200 specialist care homes and 2000 assisted living apartments.
About Whiteley Village
Believed to be the first purpose-built retirement village in the UK, building began in 1914 and the first resident, Eliza Palmer, moved into her cottage on 10 October 1917.
Established at the bequest of the estate of William Whiteley, the founder of Whiteley's department store in Bayswater London in 1863. He bequeathed £1 million for the purchase of land and "buildings to be used and occupied by poor persons of either sex as homes in their old age". This bequest came to fruition sooner than anticipated when William Whiteley was murdered in his store by a man claiming to be his illegitimate son.
The architectural and social ambition of William Whiteley's vision made the village truly outstanding for its time and it is still unique today.
The Whiteley Homes Trust is hoping to gain planning permission from Elmbridge Borough Council to build 60 additional almshouses and more assisted care flats, which would offer accommodation for up to a further 150 people. The planning application is currently being prepared for Appeal, following its unexpected rejection by the local council in July 2017.
The Whiteley Foundation launched in December 2017 to mark the village centenary, with the forward-looking objective of partnering with businesses, academic institutions and other third-sector organisations to understand and develop the best ways to enable older people to live longer, healthier, happier and independent lives.
ELIGIBILITY FOR RESIDENCY
Eligibility is open to people of retirement age of limited financial means. An applicant should not own a property or have savings that give them choices to rent or purchase in the open market. People will receive greater priority to live in the village if they are due to be homeless or have local connections or to the village. The majority of residents qualify for housing benefit but that is not a requirement for admission. Applicants must also have lived in the UK for a minimum of 5 years and be entitled to UK pension and benefits.
WHITELEY VILLAGE FACILITIES
Whiteley Village operates as a typical village complete with village shop, post office, library, village hall, a church and a meeting hall for other faiths. Community spirit is core to the success of the village and the majority of volunteers are villagers themselves.