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Tenants raise their teacups to £1.6m homes makeover

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Tenants raise their teacups to £1.6m homes makeover

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Published by KDavison for New Charter Housing Trust Group in Housing and also in Communities

-	(L-R) Tenant Pat Robinson and scheme manager Sue Gale - (L-R) Tenant Pat Robinson and scheme manager Sue Gale

A pot of tea and cake was just the treat for tenants in Stockport celebrating their new-look homes as part of a £1.6m makeover.

Residents at Pembroke Court in Hazel Grove welcomed landlords New Charter Homes and guests for a mid-morning brew and a cupcake in their communal lounge to mark the completion of refurbishment work.

Improvements to the sheltered housing scheme have been made inside and out with new windows, doors, heating and a spruced up garden planted by the tenants.

Residents have also been busy setting up a new vegetable patch where they grow anything from potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes and parsnip to use in their cooking.

82-year-old Lavinia Maguire has lived at Pembroke Court for about seven years.  She said: “We longed for new windows and it’s made such a difference. It was the first thing to put a smile on our faces.

“I was told I could pick my own tiles, wallpaper, flooring and worktops and, to me, that’s made it my home because I can put my own stamp on my place.”  

Lavinia has been hands on in the garden too. “The garden really is a credit to all the residents and it was a combined effort to get the veg patch started,” she added.

“We now have somewhere to sit and have afternoon tea and a chat. Some people who are less able can get involved as well because the flower beds are raised. We eat all the food we grow in our cooking and everyone’s input has been terrific – it’s very satisfying.”

Tameside-based New Charter Homes start a major refurbishment of Pembroke Court in late 2012 after purchasing the building from former landlord Anchor Housing Trust.

The scheme, which provides independent living for people aged 55 and over, has been transformed from bedsits to a mix of one-bed apartments and studios. Two new apartments have also been added to create 34 homes and the entrance has been brightened up with new doors.

The residents’ lounge has had a revamp with modern décor and furniture and the communal kitchen area has been kitted out with new units and appliances.

The homes are the first New Charter has owned in the Stockport but it is keen to look at other possibilities in the area in the future.

Sean Stafford, Director of Development at New Charter Homes said: “Pembroke Court was an opportunity for us to help improve more people’s lives while adding to our existing housing stock.

“Replacing the windows was a big priority for residents and the old bedsits have been replaced with modern self-contained homes.

“We’ve involved tenants every step of the way and it’s great to hear how much they like what’s been done and to see the personal touches they’ve added to communal areas like the garden.”

Pictured above (L-R) is tenant Pat Robinson and scheme manager Sue Gale.

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