Ashford Borough Council’s Farrow Court Wins Top Honour At The Kent Design & Development Awards

21st November 2018
Paul Brooks

The trophy cabinet at Ashford Borough Council’s housing department is full to bursting after scooping yet another award.

The hard-working and dedicated professionals within the housing team have been honoured at a number of award schemes in 2018 – the latest is success at the Kent Design & Development Awards for Phase 2 of the Farrow Court sheltered housing scheme. It triumphed in the major category for larger residential schemes.

Farrow Court is a council built, council owned and council run care-ready scheme. It is fully-dementia friendly and is the authority’s flagship scheme. It was built over two phases, with the second phase being completed and occupied in November 2017.

The 104 home centre has been delivered in recognition of the need to make special provision for the needs of an ageing population – by 2026 it’s anticipated that around 40% of the residents of our borough will be aged over 50.

The scheme includes 12 flats exclusively for adults with learning disabilities known as Cherry Tree Court, a guest room and seven recuperative care units called Homebridge, which helps people to transition from hospital to home.

Helping to secure the award are the fantastic range of facilities at Farrow Court – including an on-site hair and beauty salon which is also open to the local community, plus a day-care centre and restaurant run by Age Concern – and the many innovations that make Farrow Court more than just a sheltered housing scheme. To the residents it is home.

Another Ashford Borough Council development – Noakes Meadow – was also shortlisted at the Kent Design & Development Awards.

Other award successes for the council’s housing team this year includes:

Kent Housing Group Awards

The council won a special achievement award in recognition of its unrivalled commitment to welcoming and resettling Syrian refugees. The Ashford team responsible for the resettlement of refugees was honoured. Three years ago, Ashford pledged to receive up to 250 refugees over the five years of the Government’s national Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme. It was one of the first to respond and worked closely with the UNHCR and the Home Office.

At the same awards, two Ashford schemes competed for top honours in the Partnership Working category. Farrow Court Homebridge & Cherry Tree Court scooped the award, with Ashford’s other entry, the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund, highly commended.

Julie Stalker – a manager at Farrow Court – won the KHG Excellent Health or Social Care Professional award, while Esme Ervine was highly commended in the Excellent Young Achiever (under 25) category.

Housing Heroes Awards

The council was highly commended in the Housing Heroes Awards after it was one of six finalists in the hotly-contested Development or Maintenance Team of the Year category for organisations under 15,000 homes.

More to come? Inside Housing Awards…

Ashford’s Farrow Court is one of nine schemes to be shortlisted for Best Older People’s Housing Development (71+ homes) in the Inside Housing Development Awards and will be keeping fingers crossed when the winners are announced on 29 November.

Speaking about these award successes, Sharon Williams, Head of Housing at Ashford Borough Council, said: “They are a testimony to the professionalism and dedication of our staff and also reflect our vision to deliver quality housing and homes for all at a time when local government finances are under pressure as never before.

“We continuously seek new opportunities to enhance our portfolio of affordable and supported housing to meet residents’ needs across the borough. Recognition through these awards will enable us to continue to lead the way and allow us to be an example of how astute local authorities can deliver high-quality homes despite pressure on budgets.”

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