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Homes England: Learning and Growing Together

Category: CSR, Homes England, Karbon Homes, Age Initiatives

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When a site tour sparks a wonderful initiative of learning and growing together

On the 14 May Karen Anderson arranged a site tour of The Elms a fabulous collaborative development between Karbon Homes and Homes England. This development is an excellent example of a HAPPI extra care scheme. You can find out more about the HAPPI principles below. The Elms provides high quality living accommodation for people aged 55 and over, as a result residents can enjoy the best possible quality of life in flexible, supported surroundings that promotes a sense of community and a strong connection to the wider, external environment.

With the aid of Homes England funding we made this development happen –their work means residents can remain both independent and living within their own homes for as long as possible and enjoy living in the privacy of their own home, with their own front door and living space whilst also having the benefit from access to a range of facilities. How brilliant is that?

As part of the tour we explored the challenges Karbon Homes and Karen Anderson and her team have faced with this development – we also looked at the amazing small touches such as everyone having their own front door, with a door bell, letter box and memory shelf!

The indoor accommodation was fabulous think show home crossed with 5 *star hotel all with an amazing team of people working behind the scenes to ensure you are safe, comfortable and happy! A number of us on the visit came to the conclusion we could live extremely happily at The Elms right now….

There was only one sad part of the tour due to ill health the resident gardeners really struggled to maintain their allotment…this is where the gardening club comes in.

A small group of like-minded people who don’t mind giving up their time after work on a Monday evening to make a difference. We have weeded, been stung by nettles, scratched by brambles and encountered spiders that have challenged our lack of fear of spiders…but overall we are working hard, having fun and delivering (at pace) a fabulous allotment to the residents who in return entertain, direct, manage and provide us with wisdom…In the words of Ray (92 years) you can’t achieve everything take your time, step by step just always keep going and you will get there…

The HAPPI principles are based on 10 key design criteria:

They reflect:

  • Space and flexibility
  • Daylight in the home and in shared spaces
  • Balconies and outdoor space
  • Adaptability and 'care ready' design
  • Positive use of circulation space
  • Shared facilities and 'hubs'
  • Plants, trees, and the natural environment
  • Energy efficiency and sustainable design
  • Storage for belongings and bicycles
  • External shared surfaces and 'home zones'
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Homes England

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