£12 million Extra Care scheme celebrates grand opening in Chipping Norton

Housing 21’s first Extra Care scheme in Chipping Norton, Willow Gardens celebrates a successful first six months of operating with an official opening event.

Willow Gardens provides much-needed accommodation for local people over the age of 55, offering 80 one- and two-bedroom apartments for social rent and shared ownership.

To celebrate the scheme’s grand opening, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Councillor Tim Bearder from Oxfordshire County Council along with Bruce Moore, Chief Executive at Housing 21; Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group; Craig Andrews from Quattro Design Architects; Deborah White, Adult Social Work Team Leader at Oxfordshire County Council; Fiona Clarke, Ashleigh Jarvis and Jason Maylin, all employees at Housing 21.

The residents of Willow Gardens were given speeches by Bruce Moore and Eleanor Deeley, just before being entertained by children from a local school who kindly sang some songs to celebrate the grand opening.

The Extra Care scheme has been carefully designed to promote independent living in a community setting, with an on-site Care Team available 24/7 to deliver planned care packages for residents that need it.

The £12 million development was delivered by Housing 21, a national leading provider of Retirement Living and Extra Care, in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, Midlands-based Deeley Construction and Quattro Design Architects.

Emma Taylor, Housing Manager at Housing 21, said: “It’s been a fantastic first six months and it couldn’t have gone much better. Willow Gardens allows our residents to live independently in their own home with the added benefit of accessing communal facilities and care support when required.

“Being able to enjoy the privacy of your own apartment whilst knowing that a 24-hour on-site Care Team is available provides peace of mind for our residents and their families. It really is the ideal place for over 55s to live in Chipping Norton.”

Councillor Tim Bearder, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Willow Gardens is a great example of the sort of Extra Care housing options available in Oxfordshire. Residents are enabled to live well and age well, and supported to live as independently as possible within their own community.

“Oxfordshire County Council continues to work in partnership with registered providers such as Housing 21 to deliver its ambitious programme of Extra Care housing, by encouraging creative opportunities such as use of council land, grant funding, or private finance initiatives.”

As well as boasting a residents’ lounge and landscaped gardens, Willow Gardens also has an on-site café/bistro and hair salon which are available for use by the local community.

Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group, said: “It’s wonderful to see how residents have settled in at Willow Gardens and are enjoying this state-of-the-art Extra Care scheme.

“The scheme is a product of our continued partnership with Housing 21 and it is fantastic to see it already providing vital homes for over 55s in Chipping Norton and wider Oxfordshire.”

Councillor Carl Rylett, Cabinet Member for Planning & Sustainable Development at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Willow Gardens in Chipping Norton is an important scheme for West Oxfordshire District Council. The development will provide additional care to residents, generally aimed at older residents. It is really positive that the development includes much-needed affordable housing including rental and shared ownership.

“We are pleased to work in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council and Housing 21 to see this important development nearing completion for residents in the district.”

Pictured: Cllr Tim Bearder cutting the ribbon with Bruce Moore, Chief Executive at Housing 21 (right); Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director at Deeley Group (centre); Craig Andrews from Quattro Design Architects (left); Deborah White, Social Work Team Leader for Oxfordshire County Council (second left); and other Housing 21 employees.