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Meet the Partners event in Worcester

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Meet the Partners event in Worcester


Published by Anonymous for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Care and Support, Education, Local Government

Leading housing and care provider Sanctuary Group invited local partners along to its central offices inWorcesterto learn more about its new care development in the city and the range of opportunities this will create.

The £22 million scheme at the University Park site in St John’s is Sanctuary’s largest care development to date, and will include a 60-bed care home, a 60-unit extra care scheme and 40 close care homes, as well as a central hub providing a range of shared facilities for future residents.

The development will be known as Sanctuary Grove until completed when the individual elements will be separately named for address purposes.

Working in partnership with its contractor Stepnell Ltd, Sanctuary is committed to ensuring that the development delivers not only the 160-bed care complex promised but also offers a range of employment and training opportunities for local people as well as support for community projects to help enhance the lives of those in the wider community.

Those attending the Meet the Partners event (see below for a list of partner organisations that attended) were given an overview of the project and also heard more about the training opportunities that Sanctuary and Stepnell will be creating on site. This will include new apprenticeships, work experience placements, opportunities for local sub-contractors and activities to support the construction curriculum in local schools.

Sanctuary and Stepnell will also be supporting local community projects. Examples of similar initiatives delivered through other Sanctuary developments was also given, including the renovation of a war memorial in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and a re-fit of a charity shop in Paignton.

Stepnell also highlighted its commitment to ensure that the new development creates more than just bricks and mortar, outlining its experience of delivering jobs and training opportunities in order to encourage the best people to enter the industry and ensure that there is a pool of trained and experienced construction labour for the future.

Partners also had a chance to give their feedback, with a consensus that a structured approach worked best for all and that they would like to see opportunities offered to  young people and those who had been out of work for an extended period, as well as harder to reach groups living in the city.

Sophie Atkinson, Group Head of Community Investment and Sustainability at Sanctuary, passed on her thanks to all those who attended the Meet the Partners event.

She said: “This was an extremely positive meeting with our local partners. It gave us chance to explain more about the development itself and the potential it has to benefit the community ofWorcesterin a wider sense. It also gave our partners a chance to tell us more about how they operate and what they need from us to help promote these employment and training opportunities most effectively.”

Karen Ryan, Best Practice Manager at Stepnell, added: “Stepnell has significant expertise in building high-specification accommodation facilities for the care sector. We are really looking forward to working with Sanctuary Group, the supply chain partners and the Worcester community in the delivery of this much-needed high quality care facility.

“Over the next few years the construction industry is looking to recruit around 30,000 new workers every year to meet the national demand for new buildings and infrastructure. Projects like this one - which will offer hands-on training, work experience and apprenticeships - provide us with an excellent opportunity to get more people and youngsters interested in construction careers.”

Sanctuary and Stepnell are now working together to prepare a mission statement for the initiative and a list of planned activities for the 68 weeks the development is expected to be on site.

The extra care, care and close care accommodation at Sanctuary Grove is due for completion in the spring of 2015.

- Ends –

Notes to editors:

Attendees at the Meet the Partners event

The following organisations attended the Meet the Partners event on Friday 22 November:

Sanctuary Group, Stepnell Ltd, Worcester City Council, Worcester Community Trust, Worcester College of Technology, University of Worcester, Worcester Sixth Form College, Worcester YMCA and DWP/Job Centre Plus.

About Sanctuary

Established in 1969, Sanctuary Group is responsible for the provision of social housing, care and management services acrossEngland andScotland. It owns or operates over 95,000 units of accommodation and employs more than 10,000 people.

The Group operates under a not for profit umbrella, with surpluses reinvested into the provision of affordable housing, the maintenance of existing properties, and the development of new services for customers.

Sanctuary is an Industrial and Provident Society, an exempt charity under the Charities Act 1993 and is regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency.

For more information, please contact Julie Wedgbury, PR Officer – development on 01905 334693, or Lindsay Evans, Group PR Manager on 01905 334596.


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