Sheltered housing
Between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016:

Sheltered housing review - Following the review into our sheltered housing and the decision to close four schemes completely and partially close two others, we had 26 tenants living in these affected schemes at the beginning of the year. We have continued to work closely with them to find suitable alternative homes. During the year we have found suitable homes for 23, leaving only three who are waiting to be re-housed. As part of the review, we also announced that Liston House and the old part of New Court in Marlow, as well as Lincoln House in High Wycombe would be sold since they are no longer fit-for-purpose and could not be brought back up to the Red Kite standard

Support services - Our contract with Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) to provide support services ended on 31st January 2016. The service funded by BCC included the community alarm service and the support service carried out by

Red Kite staff such as check calls and support plans and daily scheme visits. Having written to all customers in August 2015 to inform them that BCC were going to change the way support services were provided, BCC also consulted with tenants before deciding on the type of service they wished to fund. The new support contract started in February 2016 and Connection FS were appointed to provide the new ‘Engage and Support Service in Sheltered Housing’ throughout Buckinghamshire. Six Red Kite staff were transferred over to Connection FS to help provide the new service. The Community Alarm Service also changed from February 2016, where previously all sheltered homes had a hard wired community alarm provided through a speech module and pull cords. BCC were no longer willing to fund a service to all sheltered homes, and instead they now fund a county-wide alarm service which is called Telecare. This works from the tenant’s phone line with a pendant they can wear on their wrist or around their neck. Tenants can choose whether they wish to receive the service and it is provided free of charge for those in receipt of Housing Benefit or Pension credit.

During the year we have managed to find suitable homes for 23 of our tenants living in sheltered schemes that are due to close leaving only three remaining tenants now waiting to be re-housed

Helping our tenants apply for the new Telecare alarm service with 672 tenants having had the service provided during the year

Supporting tenants to spend £73,304 during the year on things that help improve their schemes and the quality of life for our residents.

We will be:

Working with our volunteers to engage with sheltered tenants and encourage them to get involved

Developing the service that we provide in our sheltered schemes so that the designated sheltered services team are seen as the experts in their area and a valuable team for our customers

Working in partnership with Connection FS to look at ways of encouraging social activities in schemes and how communities can support themselves

Carrying out a programme to refurbish or convert our hard to let bedsit flats which has resulted in 25 properties being let, bringing in more rental income to invest in our homes.

Barrowcroft Sheltered Housing Scheme budget Working Party:

“The residents at Barrowcroft and all those associated with our complex, would like to thank you so very much for the budget scheme money - you have no idea how it has helped so many of our residents. For example, the funds have enabled us to hire a coach for disabled people, so that they could have a wonderful day out at the seaside. Our weekly coffee mornings have encouraged more people to come together each Wednesday to build friendships and have given many something to look forward to each week. On one of these occasions, Red Kite even came and made breakfast for residents.

Over the festive season, the funding created a great opportunity for many people with limited options to broaden their horizons, by giving them access to Christmas markets and allowing tenants without transport, to do shopping and enjoy the festive season. One of the highlights was when residents went to see a live show in London. Many of our residents have never been to London, so this was a very special treat indeed! The funds have had a far-reaching impact on the lives of our residents – from the thrill of the Christmas pantomime made accessible with return transport, to social evenings with a good meal and live music.

In addition, the funds have also benefitted the lives of many with the purchase of a much needed tumble drier and other appliances. We also have a special group of people (especially Val, Pam, Brian & David) who volunteer their own time to work in our gardens and they often invest in the gardens out of their own limited pockets. This has become very much a labour of love and our gardens not only bless residents and uplift our premises, but also just send out a welcome to anyone passing by. Once again a huge thank you, for all the support and for working with us to make this all possible. For many, the impact has been life changing, as people who have at times been prone to depression as a result of physical and financial limitations, have been given opportunities to get out and enjoy the fellowship of new friends and new places. Knowing that this is a priority in the prevailing financial storms means so much to all of us and we would value any continued support for this initiative”.

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