Big smiles – from both staff and service users – are much in evidence at Hollybank Trust, as residents make the long-awaited move into their custom-designed new accommodation.
A £3.3m project to create an eco-friendly residential block, The Meadows, at the Mirfield care centre is now coming to fruition.
The buildings were officially opened last October by Coronation Street actress Paula Lane. And this week most of the 24 adult and seven young residents are settling into the state-of-the-art rooms.
Head of residential services Alison Howard said: “We expected the move to be a difficult time for some of our service users, because of the disruption involved, but without exception from day one it’s been massive smiles on faces.
“Right from the start we involved people in the design of their rooms, giving them a lot of choice over such things as furniture and colour scheme, so they feel right at home.”
Hollybank resident Gemma Toft was delighted with her new room – even before her belongings had been fully unpacked. She said: “I love it, it’s a lot bigger than where I used to be. I’ve chosen all the colours myself.”
Rooms are fitted with technology to help residents operate windows, blinds, doors, televisions and other gadgets. Each block also has a lounge and dining area, assisted bathroom, kitchen and laundry room.
The buildings are set in gardens which were designed in conjunction with landscape architecture students from Leeds Metropolitan University.
Head of finance Cath Cook said: “It’s a very eco-friendly building. It’s fitted with heat exchangers, solar panels and the roofs are planted with sedum, which insulates them and helps the building to fit in with the surroundings.
“It’s been a big investment for us but it’s going to be worth every penny.”
Funding for The Meadows included a £1m loan from Lloyds TSB Commercial.