Spotlight on Albany House, Nottingham
2018 - December, Latest news
Albany House is an independent living scheme for residents aged over 55, with 72 self contained flats. As well as communal areas, the scheme hosts its own café, gardens and a hair salon.
“We’re all ‘people’ people here,” says Gemma Davis, Scheme Manager. ‘I’ve got a really supportive team on the ground, and I have a very supportive manager too.”
“Every day is different. We support all the key areas of the business by providing support with lettings and sign ups, monitoring rent accounts, managing and finding resolutions to anti-social behaviour, reporting repairs, supporting customers to manage their tenancies, monitoring hoarding cases and signposting to other professional agencies when more support is required.”
“Our role is totally customer focused though; we provide immediate support to customers at all hours of the day.”
“You never get a quiet day! We deal with repairs, we respond to pull cords, we deal with fire alarms… but we also do activities like film nights and bingo,” said Scheme Officer Terrie Wealthall.
“Simple things like taking the time to listen and have a chat can make all the difference to someone’s day. We always try to go the extra mile to support customers – we want to make sure their voice is heard and decisions are made in their best interest.”Kerry Roberts, Scheme Officer
With customers with varying levels of need, the staff have to be flexible and responsive. I asked the team what makes their jobs rewarding.
“When a situation comes up and you feel like you’ve made a real difference to somebody – that makes it all worthwhile.
“One of the nice things about Albany House is that the customers look out for each other and many new friendships have been made. The tenants are settled and content in their routines – there’s a real sense of community spirit.”
Keen to meet some of the customers that the team had spoken of so highly, I ventured into the communal areas. It was there that I met Hilda, aged 101.
“I had my party in here! For my 100th. All the family were here. I don’t think I’ll do much for my 102nd – maybe go to Wetherspoons with my daughter. We go once a week.”
“I like living here – it’s about the best place I’ve ever moved! You’ve got security, there’s always someone here if you need them… we’ve got a café, a hairdressers… what more could you want?”
Hilda was soon joined by two more tenants, Carol and Pauline.
“I’ve been here about two years,’ says Pauline. “I like it here – I like the people, everyone’s nice and helpful, and they’re all sociable. We do bingo and everything.”
“I like Anjan’s cooking – it’s great in the café. And Carol does a stew, she puts it in the slow cooker for us.”
“I do stews sometimes,” agrees Carol. “I also made all the cushions in here… I did the flowers, I do the bingo and get all the prizes for it, I do pizza on a Friday night for film night and I do afternoon tea on a Monday as well! I still have time to do my knitting though! I’m always on the go. I’m not the sort of person to sit around.”
“It’s like living in a hotel here! And the staff are brilliant. We all get on well – nobody is frightened to go to the office and say something because they all sit and listen to us.”
Finally, we pay a flying visit to the café before we leave, where we meet Head Chef Anjan. Come rain or shine, Anjan is busy preparing meals for the residents of Albany House (as well as others – the café is open to the general public). He has even been known to come in on Christmas Day to cook a festive feast!
“I enjoy it, I find it rewarding. It’s a good feeling that I’ve done something for people that might not have that experience otherwise.”
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