The first phase of Le Grand Courtil development was completed at the end of 2014 and many residents moved into their apartments before Christmastime.
The development, undertaken by Rihoy & Son in partnership with Guernsey Housing Association, HSSD and the Housing Department, provides independent living accommodation for those across the community who need extra care.
Elderly residents, and occupants of all ages who have learning difficulties, have reacted very positively to their new accommodation. They are also enjoying the public areas such as the large and airy cafeteria which will soon be open to the general public.
Ray Jeffries, aged 81, was one of the first residents to move in. He had lived in the Longue Rue residential home for four years and is now delighted to have his own bathroom and kitchen within the apartment. ‘Previously I just had a room with a sink in it,’ explains Ray. ‘We shared bathroom facilities, whereas as now I have more privacy and having the kitchen means I can choose what I want to do for meals.
‘I like to be able to make my own breakfast or make something easy for lunch or dinner so I don’t always have to use the cafeteria. It’s like having my own home, but a bit more modern.’
Residents like Ray have commented that they enjoy having the choice of either using the communal areas or relaxing in their own living room. In addition, having their own kitchen facilities means they are not tied to set mealtimes and can entertain guests in their own space.
Like most of Le Grand Courtil’s residents, Ray receives daily care visits from staff and he also wears a personal alarm, which he can use to call for help. All residents have a care plan worked out for them, however, the new facilities have been so successful, they are changing these plans as residents are able to do more for themselves.
‘Thanks to the accommodation and facilities, our residents are doing more and living more independently now, we see “little miracles” all the time,’ explains Carolynne Bourgaize, who manages the facility.
The development combines the residents’ flats with other areas such as the cafeteria, and spaces for the various classes and activities in which residents can participate. Coffee mornings, yoga, physiotherapy, the mobile library and bingo nights are just a few of the activities available on-site. There is even a massage therapist and hairdresser housed within the development.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the project has already been listed as a Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards 2014 ‘Top Development’ and work is well underway on the second phase which will complete the 84-unit facility.
As well as an outside courtyard, the flats also have a balcony that Ray and his neighbours will enjoy in the summer. Once the second phase of the development is finished later this year, the area will be landscaped and residents are looking forward to the magnificent magnolia coming back into bloom.
Posted: 24 February 2015