Local mayor visits retirement scheme to discuss the role of supported housing
Last week, the Mayor of Reigate and Banstead, Cllr Frank Kelly, visited Portland House in Merstham, run by Surrey-based housing provider Raven Housing Trust, to see for himself the value of supported housing in enabling independent living.
As part of the National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home Day, the Mayor met with Raven’s customers and staff to learn about the support offered by sheltered schemes like Portland House.
Before sitting down for a game of bingo, the Mayor was greeted by three Portland House customers, 68-year-old John, 76-year-old Elaine and 91-year-old Jean.
Amy Cheswick, Raven’s Director of Customers and Partners, commented: “We were extremely pleased to welcome the Mayor to Portland House and discuss the value that supported housing adds to the lives of our customers.
“As well as great social events and opportunities for events like theatre trips, Raven’s support team provides a vital service, undertaking tailored support plans to make sure customers get all the help they need. The support team also coordinates with other care and support services to keep customers safe and well.”
During the visit, Portland House staff were presented with vouchers by Sue Young, Raven’s Head of Housing Services, in recognition of their tireless work in keeping customers safe and mitigating their social isolation throughout the pandemic.
The Mayor said: “The outstanding work by staff in the supported housing sector was crucial in keeping the most vulnerable members of our society safe during the pandemic. Giving vouchers to the staff at Portland House was a fantastic opportunity to show that their efforts do not go unnoticed.
“I would like to thank Raven for inviting me to Portland House to experience first-hand the positive impact that supported housing has on residents.”
During his visit, the Mayor presented Portland House customers with 20 easy grip key turners, allowing users to hold and turn keys securely, which will contribute to them living independently for longer.
The gifts for customers and staff are part of Raven’s year-long initiative to complete 20 positive acts in the communities it serves, marking its 20-year anniversary of building homes and changing lives.
Sue Young said: “I joined Raven when it took over the council’s housing stock in 2002, having worked in Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Housing Team for ten years prior to that, and have continued to work here ever since.
“I am proud of the work Raven has done in the last 20 years to offer good quality affordable housing, not only in this community but also across the wider Surrey and Sussex regions.”