Local housing scheme scoops national award as residents come up trumps

published on 18 Feb 2016

The Salvation Army Housing Association’s Hazelwood Court has won national recognition at an awards ceremony held in Manchester yesterday.

The Sheltered Housing Scheme for over 55’s based in Maldon won the Bronze Award in the under 24 units category for “Best UK Retirement Housing Schemes” at the National Housing for Older People Awards. The awards were presented by former politician and entertainer Ann Widdecombe.

More than 4000 residents from 360 specialist housing schemes across the country helped choose the award winners in a unique process overseen by the national housing charity for older people, Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC).

The residents scored their housing on a variety of statements relating to both the quality of the property and the care, support and general sense of wellbeing they enjoy there. 

To make the process more engaging, the statements were written on cards, allowing the residents to form small groups and play a card game while actually scoring their housing and contributing to the awards process. Accommodation was evaluated on the basis of location, building quality, residents’ own apartments or rooms, services and lifestyle. 

Residents rated Hazelwood Court particularly highly in areas of “where we live” and “services” provided.

Hazelwood Court Scheme Manager, Margaret Bolton said: “It was an honour to be part of the process which showed how Resident Consultation reflected the residents’ perception of their surroundings and the services on offer to them.”

“Our mission at Hazelwood Court is to transform lives by providing accommodation for people, helping residents to develop their personal talents and access services and resources to gain employment and live independently.”

Hazelwood Court is marking its 25th anniversary this year with a celebration in August when families, friends and people from the local community will join together for a time of thanksgiving.

Eve Lloyd, resident at the scheme in Heybridge, Maldon, said: “There is a great feeling of support and friendship at Hazelwood Court and I feel proud to call it my home.”

EAC Chief Executive, John Galvin, underlined the importance of the Awards saying: “They continue to convey a strong, positive message about the success of retirement housing and housing-with-care, and also to celebrate the fact that provision is becoming more diverse”.

A spokesperson from Legal & General, who have sponsored the event since its beginning in 2010, welcomed another year’s awards ceremony saying: “We are glad this year to welcome another large contingent of the residents of housing for later life. They are at the centre of the EAC Awards, helping us to understand what makes for good retirement housing.”