Work has begun on a new £10.5 million 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.”
The £21 million 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. 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.
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.