Older people ready for Bowthorpe care village move

Work is completed on the new Bowthorpe Care Village. Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare, i

Work is completed on the new Bowthorpe Care Village. Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare, in the café in the central hub. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A new £18.9m care village on the edge of Norwich will open its doors next week, with more than a hundred people due to move from four care homes which are shutting.

Construction work on care company NorseCare's 80-bed specialist dementia care home and a 92-apartment housing with care scheme at Three Score site at Bowthorpe started in August 2014.

Residents from Norwich care homes Heathfield, Mountfield, Somerley and Philadelphia House will start moving into the care village from Monday.

Bosses say those care homes all date back to the 1970s and their age means they are not up to standards, while the care village features modern facilities and homes.

The 2.3-hectare complex features the dementia unit, called Mayflower Court, Saffron Housing Trust's housing with care scheme The Meadows and a central hub. The hub features a restaurant, cafe, hairdressers, bar and community shop.

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Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare, said the moving in of vulnerable people, with a 99-year-old man the eldest resident moving from one of the care homes, would be carefully managed.

Fifty-nine of the people currently in the care homes will be moving into Mayflower Court and 45 into The Meadows.

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Ms Knight said: 'We are moving people in friendship groups with their individual care providers. We are going to do that in stages over a four-week period. The people who have been to see it are delighted.

'Those who will be moving into the housing with care accommodation have been given a bit of a refresher on things such as cooking and making tea and they're really looking forward to it.'

She said a 'handful' of the people in the care homes had, at an earlier stage, decided they did not want to move to the care home and had been provided with alternative care.

Ms Knight said: 'This is a stunning building and we're delighted that residents and tenants will soon be able to move into their new homes.

'The project has gone incredibly smoothly for something of its size and complexity,'

The dementia unit will feature memory boxes next to people's doors, containing personal items to help people remember which flats are theirs. NorseCare successfully bid for £4.2m of funding for the scheme from the Homes and Communities Agency, while Norfolk County Council put up £3m. Norwich City Council agreed to provide the land for free and Saffron invested £8.5m. RG Carter were the builders.

The care village is part of the wider Three Score development site, with Norwich City Council planning to use the rest of the 32-hectare site to create 1,000 homes, community facilities and open space. The city council will have nomination rights for the housing with care properties.

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email edpletters@archant.co.uk

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