Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, visited Thirteen’s extra care housing scheme at Beechfield Court in Middlesbrough to meet some of the residents and see the facilities and support available.

Beechfield Court and Beresford Crescent supports independent living, offering its residents the privacy of their own home with a range of facilities and on-site care services if they need it.

The scheme located in Thorntree, opened in 2015 and is made up of 65 one and two bedroom apartments for over 55s and 22 two bedroom bungalows, all with level access showers, designed for over 45s with additional needs.

Residents benefit from communal facilities, including a bistro, laundry, hairdressing facilities, a landscaped garden and a sun terrace.

Mr McDonald met 81 year old Jean Ramsey, who originally from Stockton, had lived in Middlesbrough for the past 50 years, before moving into one of the bungalows at Beresford Crescent.

The mum of nine, who worked as a cleaner until she was 63, moved from her four bedroom family home where she was living alone.

Jean was struggling to get down the stairs at home and since moving here two years ago said: “It was the best thing I could have done to help myself.”

Jean told Mr McDonald, “I’m very fortunate and I’m content here. This is my home and I’m really happy.

“While I can manage on my own, I’m reassured knowing there’s help here if I need it and the carers are brilliant. I don’t feel worried. I’m safe here and it’s a lovely community.”

“I am thoroughly impressed with everything I saw and heard during my visit and really pleased to be welcomed so warmly into peoples’ homes”, said Mr McDonald.

“This is an exciting innovation for the town that in so many ways is a model of how, I believe, we need to be catering and caring for our families and relatives who need support.

“The sense of community is so strong. The facilities and the way the various levels of care are provided and managed demonstrate to me how serious a commitment Thirteen and their staff are making here to assisted, independent living and to improving the quality of people’s lives as they grow older.”

Thirteen’s executive director of service delivery and development Chris Smith said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr McDonald to Beechfield Court.

“It is important that we continue to provide high quality, modern homes with the right care and support for people in their own home, so they can live as independently as possible.

“There is so much uncertainty that surrounds the future funding for supported housing, which is why we’ve got behind The National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home campaign to persuade the government to commit to ensuring that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.”

More information about the properties available can be found at http://www.thirteengroup.co.uk

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