It is with deep regret that we are announcing the proposed closure of our Orchard Close sheltered housing development which is home to 16 older people. We had planned to close our doors on 30th June 2020 however in light of recent government announcements regarding Coronavirus, it is now likely that this date will be extended to the autumn.
At this difficult time, our residents and staff are our top priority. Residents will be helped to find alternative suitable accommodation, and we will support them and their families to make their transition as pain-free as possible. This will include liaising with other Abbeyfield branches and local care providers to try to find suitable accommodation, liaising with Adult Social Care to provide guidance on financial issues, as well as providing financial and practical support with moving, including packing and unpacking.”
The 15 staff, two full-time and 13 part-time, are now going through a consultation process for potential redundancy. In addition to redundancy payments, they will be supported to gain new employment, for example with time off for interviews, help with CV preparation and interview practice.
In keeping with many other sheltered housing providers across the UK, we have struggled to halt falling occupancy over the past few years. Despite significant marketing and networking activity it has not been possible to make significant inroads.
This is against a backdrop of a changing market in housing and care for older people with many choosing to remain living independently in their own home for as long as possible and then making a move to a fully-supported care home or community from which they will not need to move again. While services provided by Abbeyfield Winchester include housekeeping, catering and general support, there is no care provision and no feasibility of introducing it.
At meetings on 17th March with staff, residents and members, the trustees outlined the struggles of the past two years in particular, the various actions that have been taken to try to save Orchard Close, and their proposals for closure.
Chair of Trustees, Linda Snoswell, said: “Closure is a dreadful thing to have to contemplate and plan for but we have to be realistic and responsible. This has been a very difficult decision to make and not one made lightly. There have been many months of discussions and meetings before we reached this point, and decided that we have no other option. We were mindful that our prime responsibilities as trustees were financial probity and governance. Whilst we considered various options, in light of falling occupancy, our substantial debts and low reserves, it became clear that we had no option but to recommend a carefully managed closure.”
We are so sad that it has come to this, and we relay our best wishes to all our residents, and sincere thanks to our loyal and hard-working staff. If you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Our on-site House Manager and friendly team ensure the houses are warm, comfortable and safe.
Our houses are set in beautiful mature gardens in the village of Twyford, near Winchester.
The daily meals are nutritious and enjoyable, and residents’ rooms are cleaned on a weekly basis.
It is Abbeyfield’s mission to enhance the quality of life for older people. The Society oﬀers a wide range of services from independent or supported living, through to residential and dementia care.
They aim to provide a service which oﬀers a home for life integrated in a local community with high quality accommodation and a stimulating environment to maintain a socially active community that will directly benefit the mind, body and soul.
Abbeyfield believes in making time for older people. That means engagement with residents, whether that is making the time to have a chat or to listen without worry of time pressure. Abbeyfield can oﬀer this to their residents due to the charitable nature of the organisation. They have thousands of volunteers across their homes that work in conjunction with staﬀ to allow them to provide that little bit extra. The homes also interact with their local community to enhance the lives of residents. Read more about the Abbeyfield Society here.
“I look to the future with optimism as I have observed the care and attention given to all the residents as their independence wanes.” Bobbie Primmer
We are happy to oﬀer temporary accommodation for taster stays or respite care when we have rooms available. If you would like to talk to one of the team at Abbeyfield Winchester, please get in touch.