Community refurbishments improving local lives

Residents living in sheltered housing are making the most of revamped communal facilities right on their doorsteps.

The sheltered housing scheme in St Nicholas Close, Barkston, has 32 bungalows grouped around the community building, which has been refurbished by South Kesteven District Council. 

It was the first in a series of refurbishments, and was complemented by other successful upgrades to the guest room at accommodation in Essex Road, Stamford, and the communal lounge at Central Place, Grantham. 

Next year, similar projects for a community building among sheltered accommodation in Rectory Close, Barrowby, and at a similar facility in Meadow Close in Bourne, will bring the investment on refurbishments to around £100,000. 

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Nick Neilson said: "We decided to launch a programme of work with more ambitious projects to make a real difference for residents at our sheltered schemes. 

"Quality of life is important for everyone across our District and the social value of these refurbishments to people who may feel isolated or don't get out as much is already being felt. 

"We know more people are using the revamped facilities more often, and that people there are proud of where they live and socialise. They are inviting family and friends around to see the improvements, and holding social events in their more comfortable surroundings. 

"Further schemes are being surveyed to continue the programme of work." 

The communal lounge and guest room at St Nicholas Close were highlighted as looking dated, so residents were invited to pick colour combinations from a range put together by SKDC's sheltered housing team. 

Now it is all redecorated and refitted - as well as comfortable and colourful - and the residents are delighted. 

Gina Halstead said: "It has been very tastefully done, everything matches, and it's beautiful." 

Tom Baker, who also lives nearby, added: "We're often here to make the most of it. It's ideal for meeting up, passing the time and meeting everyone." 

Barbara Orchard said: "We have regular social events here when we get lots of people in for games, tea and biscuits. It gets really busy." 

Mary Holland added: "It's lovely!" 

The residents are now fundraising for a pool table to further improve the facilities on offer. 

Picture 1: Residents Fran Cornforth and Barbara Orchard at the community building in St Nicholas Close, Barkston. 

Residents Fran Cornforth and Barbara Orchard at the community building in Barkston

Picture 2: Alan Cook, Gordon Brooks, Monica Brooks, Mollie Balmer with Sheltered Housing Officer Sue Robinson at St Nicholas Close, Barkston. 

Alan Cook, Gordon Brooks, Monica Brooks, Mollie Balmer with Sheltered Homes officer

For media enquiries:Email the SKDC communications team at pr@southkesteven.gov.uk or call 01476 406498 or 406440.