News

Improving homes, improving lives

Release Date: 17-May-2011
Residents of Oxford Grange in Gomersal are enjoying the benefits of a major investment programme in Kirklees council housing.

Cllr Margaret Bates, Mayor Andrew Palfreeman and Dorothy Arrowsuch, KNH Older People's Champion, with residents, family, friends and representatives of the refurbishment project team, at the opening ceremony

Cllr Margaret Bates, Mayor Andrew Palfreeman and Dorothy Arrowsuch, KNH Older People's Champion, with residents, family, friends and representatives of the refurbishment project team, at the opening ceremony

As part of the Decent Homes Programme, 20 retirement living schemes have been remodeled by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH), the company that manages the granges on behalf of the council. Oxford Grange is the last of the schemes to be refurbished.

Oxford Grange is home to 15 residents, all over the age of 60, who need varying degrees of support to live independently.

The £2.1 million improvement scheme is the culmination of lengthy consultation with the residents, and team work has been key to the success of the project.

Grange residents, KNH staff, architects and staff from the Council’s Physical Resources and Procurement section and the contractors, Kirklees Building Services, worked together during every stage of the improvement programme to make sure that the work went smoothly and that everyone was satisfied with the progress being made.

As well as creating individual, self-contained flats at Oxford Grange and eliminating bedsits, the communal areas have also been completely transformed with a refurbished lounge and dining room. Disabled access has been improved, a new communal kitchen, laundry and hair dressing room have been built, while outside, new Juliet balconies, windows, fencing, roofing, solar tiles and landscaping help complete the transformation.

Residents’ families and friends also benefit from the improvements. As well as seeing their loved ones more settled and happy, they also have use of a refurbished guest room.

Residents are thrilled with the results. “Everything is wonderful; I can’t fault a thing,” said Eric Wolstenholme.

“They’ve done a good job. I love the view – I like my entire flat,” said Tom Sellers.

Fellow resident Joan Lee agreed: “It is so much better to sleep in a separate room and have my own shower room. But most of all it is lovely to welcome everyone into my new home.”

Dorothy Arrowsuch is a Kirklees Older People’s Champion. She said: “I am thrilled with the last scheme and tenants are so pleased with the results. In fact, it is perfect and shows how we have improved all the time.”

The transformed grange was officially opened by the Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Andrew Palfreeman, at a ceremony on 16 May which was attended by residents and their families; Batley & Spen MP, Mike Wood; ward councillors; and staff from KNH and Kirklees Council who have been involved in the refurbishment scheme

Cllr Shabir Pandor, cabinet member for housing, said; “the transformation of Oxford Grange isn’t just about improving people’s homes; it’s also about improving their lives.

“This has been a lengthy project and I’d like to thank the residents for their patience while work has been going on. I think they’ll all agree, however, that the end results are well worth it.”

KNH has retirement living schemes across Kirklees. To find out more, call the Older People’s Support Team on 01484 416444.