Posted 12th April 2023

Local MPs visit Saffron’s newest Independent Community Living Plus scheme

Two Norfolk MPs have visited Swallowtail Place in Acle to find out more about Saffron Housing Trust’s newest Independent Community Living Scheme.

Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland and Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk, have each had a tour of the scheme on – 24 and 30 March respectively. They met Saffron staff including CEO James Francis and Board Member Barry Duffin and saw the facilities, including the café, lounge area, activity room, garden and a one and two-bedroom apartment.

The scheme, for people over 55, includes a mix of Shared Ownership properties and apartments available for rent. On-site care is available 24/7, giving residents and their families peace of mind that support is close to hand if needed. Close to facilities in Acle, and with communal spaces, residents can remain active in the community.

Jerome Mayhew MP said: “It is great to see provision locally for people who do not want to take the step into care but want that extra little bit of assurance and a place that can follow their needs as they get older.

“The building is warm, bright, and light, with lots of sunshine, and the apartments are spacious and look comfortable. The best thing about this place is it’s open to the community. Right here you are in the heart of the village, but you have also brought the village into the building with the café open to the public. When I walked in, I was met by the sound of a busy and enjoyable shared space.”

73-year-old Jenny Rath moved into her Shared Ownership property in February. She has Scoliosis and previously lived in a 2-bed terrace house which was becoming unsuitable. She needed to live on one level but wanted space for her daughter to visit. She currently only has minimal care, but is reassured to know that care is available if needed in the future.

She said: “Before you would wake up and all you would see is cars. Now, to wake up and look at the trees, it is lovely. And I can now enjoy a cup of tea in bed, which I could not do before. And it is so quiet. I love it.”

Richard Bacon, MP added: “The building itself is really impressive and what is clear is it’s already becoming a central place within Acle. Not just for the people who have moved here but for the people who live in the area coming to use the facilities. It is a great step forward if you want to integrate a place like this into the community.

“I’ve known Saffron for many years, and I have always been impressed with the high quality of homes that they produce. Saffron is shining a light of what is possible and I’m very proud that they are within my area.”

James Francis, CEO of Saffron, said: “It was a pleasure to meet Jerome and Richard and show them around Swallowtail Place. Independent Community Living Plus schemes like this are vital in preventing social isolation as people get older. We are proud to offer homes which allow tenants to keep their independence, with the comfort of knowing there is help on hand should they need it.”

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