Apartments turned into COVID-19 emergency accommodation after delayed opening
PUBLISHED: 15:37 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 01 May 2020
A new-build apartment block has been turned into COVID-19 emergency accommodation after a delayed opening due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Barber Gardens 18 apartment development in Chatteris, which was built to provide homes and support for people with learning disabilities, is helping free up hospital beds.
Owners, Lifeways, contacted Cambridgeshire County Council to see if there was anything they could do to help the fight against coronavirus.
Justin Tydeman, CEO of Lifeways, said: “This is a great example of how partnership working can bring about positive change in times of need.
“I’m incredibly proud of all our teams who have pulled together and made this project happen so quickly.
“We are proud to help support and shield individuals at Barber Gardens, while helping to ease the current pressure on the NHS.”
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Will Oborne, community engagement and development manager for Lifeways, said: “We realised that we had a fantastic facility lying idle and we wanted to take the opportunity to help where we could in the fight against COVID-19.
“It is remarkable that through strong partnership working between Cambridgeshire County Council and Lifeways, we have managed to create such an important facility in such a short space of time.
“We are very proud of our Operations Team who have done the work on the ground to make this happen.”
In less than 3 weeks, Lifeways worked together with the owners Triple Point, Inclusion Housing CIC and Cambridgeshire County Council, to transform Barber Gardens into a rapid response accommodation unit that can be used to house vulnerable people during the pandemic.
Will Patten, service director for commissioning at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Everyone involved in this has been magnificent, and I want to thank Lifeways, Inclusion CIC, Triple Point and my council colleagues for the quick thinking and hard work that has taken place to make this happen.
“By acting quickly and collaboratively, we have created a facility that will support vulnerable adults and free up NHS beds at a time when they are most in need.”
The council has taken full responsibility for the service for an initial three-month period, with Lifeways providing all the support, operational staff and resources for those moving in.
Lifeways worked with the local care management teams to ensure a smooth admission process into the service, and the first person, a young man with autism, moved in on Monday, April 20.
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