A new community of older people in Southam is celebrating after marking the official opening of their new homes in the town centre.
Tithe Lodge, an independent living with care scheme designed for people aged over 55, was opened on Friday 22 April by Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam, and Fran Beckett OBE, Chair of Orbit Living Board.
To mark the occasion, customers of Tithe Lodge, developed by Orbit Homes and managed by Orbit Independent Living, gathered in front of the impressive building to watch Jeremy Wright MP and Fran Beckett OBE unveil a commemorative sundial, engraved with the quote “In the garden of happy memories, it is always summer.”
With 75 modern one and two bedroom apartments available through a mix of shared ownership and affordable rent, and 24/7 on site care facilities, Tithe Lodge offers customers an affordable and active lifestyle in their later years.
Formerly home to Victor Hodges House, an outdated and empty housing scheme, Orbit has redeveloped the site to create a thriving community centre-piece for both customers and the public in the heart of Southam.
Located on the high street, Tithe Lodge provides an unrivalled blend of independent living housing and impressive communal facilities, including two private gardens, a restaurant, cinema and games room.
The development is also home to a unique Community Hub, open to both customers and the public, which brings together Southam’s new library, a safe neighbourhood police office, a local history information centre housing the Cardell collection, and community offices, including VASA and Mencap.
Fran Beckett OBE said: “Through Tithe Lodge, and Queensway Court in Leamington Spa, Orbit is creating an important change to independent living with care housing across Warwickshire. These developments offer a real alternative to residential care schemes, and enable people to remain independent in their homes, whilst offering peace of mind to both them and their families that care is available when needed.
“Orbit believes in building communities, and after seeing so many customers enjoying their new home together, it’s clear a true community spirit is already in place at Tithe Lodge.”
Jeremy Wright MP said: “It was an absolute joy to officially open Tithe Lodge and celebrate the contribution this fantastic development has made to Southam. Not only has Tithe Lodge made a profound difference to the lives of many of its residents, it has created a vibrant community hub in the centre of the town, which is already being widely used by local people.”
Tim Willis, Warwickshire County Council's Extra Care Housing Programme Lead, said: "Warwickshire County Council is committed to working with its Borough Council colleagues to provide the highest level of housing with care for its vulnerable citizens, and the accommodation here is a wonderful asset for older people aged 55 and over with varying levels of care needs."
Tithe Lodge has been brought to life through an eight year collaboration between Orbit, Southam Town Council, Stratford District Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police.
Designed by the award-winning Walker Troup, built in partnership with Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company, Tithe Lodge was recently shortlisted for the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards.
There are a few apartments still available at Tithe Lodge – to find your new independent living home in Southam please visit www.orbithomes.org.uk/developments/tithe-lodge or contact Sharron Weston, Extra Care Manager on 01926 810334.