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    As part of our 35 years of West Kent campaign we are reflecting on the milestones that have shaped us over the years, including the impact of our sheltered schemes for our residents.  

    In 1990 our £2.5 million sheltered housing scheme Hollybush Court in Sevenoaks officially opened providing homes for around 50 residents over 55 or living with a disability. Hollybush Court has seen many adaptations over the years, and we have worked with residents to shape services and support options to best meet their needs. 

    We caught up with current residents, John and Irene Wood who moved to the scheme in July 2021. Irene has dementia and the decision to move was daunting but as John explained, living at Hollybush Court made such a positive impact on their lives. 

    John shared his views on the difference it has made: “It has changed our lives completely, for the better. I’ve seen a change in Irene since day one and with her dementia she is happier now than ever before. The doctor said because she is happier, her life expectancy has increased by several years. Also, with the garden we’ve got a purpose in life; we can potter about, and everyone talks to us while we’re out there. The people that live here make it special. It’s hard to start over when you have got to move, especially when you’re older, but with West Kent the whole process was easy even in the Covid pandemic.” 

    Moving into a sheltered scheme has helped take the pressure off day-to-day life and support is there to help navigate changes and access different services. 

    John continued to share: “If you report something like a repair, they come out and fix it. We have newsletters and meetings to tell us information we need to know. If we need to talk about something in confidence, we know it won’t go any further. Anything that is raised is followed up. I think it’s run on a fair basis for the benefit of everyone.” 

    We pride ourselves on collaborating with residents on how we can continue to improve our services. This has been part of how we have worked over the past 35 years and supports our plans for the years ahead.  

    Clare Mitchell, Extra Care Manager at Hollybush Court shared how the scheme makes a difference: ‘I’ve worked for West Kent since 1997 and have been involved in various schemes over the years. Hollybush is a wonderful place for our older residents. In many cases it’s feeling secure and included that makes the most difference, as well as knowing that there is someone there to help when needed. One of the great things about Hollybush Court is that the Age UK Day Centre is attached as an annex which provides services to the residents and wider community on weekdays.’  

    To find out more about our homes for over 55s, please visit www.westkent.org/find-a-home/homes-for-over-55s  

    Grounds maintenance and fly-tipping

    We're aware some grounds maintenance work hasn't been done on time, or to our standards. We're sorry for this and understand it's disappointing for residents.

     

    35 Years of West Kent: What makes White Oak Court so special?

    White Oak Court in Swanley has been a cornerstone of the community for over 30 years, providing housing with extra care services to over 56 residents since 2018. As part of our 35 Years of West Kent campaign, this article highlights personal stories and staff dedication, showcasing how White Oak's supportive environment and responsive care transform residents' lives.