Residents and staff gathered this week to celebrate a ‘welcoming’ and ‘brilliant’ opening year for Swallowtail Place – an Independent Community Living Plus (ICLP) scheme based in Acle.
The development, a joint venture between Saffron Housing Trust and Norfolk County Council, turned one on 17th November 2023. Designed for over 55s with care needs, it contains 58 apartments to buy or rent, with care provided by Norse Care.
It is also home to two independent businesses, the Butterfly Bistro, run by Tracey Cook, and a hair salon run by Gillian Lincoln, which are open to the community.
Gillian said: “My favourite thing about working at Swallowtail is chatting to the residents in the salon whilst they are having their hair done. I love it when someone pops in to say ‘hi’ or to arrange a coffee with another resident.”
Saffron Director of Tenant Services Lynne Riddoch said: “It has just been so lovely seeing everyone moving in and bringing Swallowtail to life.
“It has been amazing, and I just want to say a Happy Birthday to the scheme.”
Winifred Baigent, Swallowtail Place’s first tenant, said: “I have enjoyed it here. It’s the convenience of everything. I have my hair done every week. You can always come out and have whatever you want from the café if you don’t feel like cooking.”
Another tenant, Violet Sizeland, said: “I moved here and it was lovely. I walked into the games room and they were playing dominoes. I got such a warm welcome.”
John and Mary Bartlett were the second tenants to join the scheme. Mary said: “You’ve got the care you need here but you’ve got independence to do what you want when you want.”
John said: “When we first moved in here and I knew I needed care, I thought: I don’t want someone coming into my home. But now we get on so well with them. I say to them ‘you aren’t carers, you’re our friends.’”
He added: “To put it bluntly, it’s brilliant. You can’t say more than that.”
Cllr Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of Swallowtail Place with Saffron Housing Trust and every resident. Increasing the county’s capacity for independent living is a vital component in meeting the growing needs of Norfolk’s older residents.”
She added: “It’s brilliant to hear such positive feedback from so many residents too.”
Hayley Forbes, Norse Care Manager at Swallowtail Place, said: “It has been a pleasure to enable people to live an independent life with support to keep them safe. We have already made so many memories here, and I look forward to making more memories in the future.”
Saffron Housing Trust has several Independent Community Living Plus Schemes across South Norfolk and Broadland. if you are interested in finding out more, please contact Angela Symonds on 01508 532027 or Sarah-Louise Forrest on 01508 532010.