Guests at the official opening of a housing association’s £7.8m extra care facility in Porthmadog heard about its positive impact on the lives of residents.
Grŵp Cynefin’s Hafod y Gest development, which is located in the heart of the town and saw its first tenants arrive earlier this year, allows older people from the area to benefit from a new independent lifestyle facility in a safe community environment with flexible care services available.
Hafod y Gest consists of 26 two-bedroom and 14 one-bedroom apartments and is a partnership development between Gwynedd Council and Grŵp Cynefin developed by Anwyl Construction. It was part-funded by Welsh Government’s Housing Grant.
During the build, 12 North Wales apprentices worked on Hafod y Gest, with 92 per cent of the total workforce living in the region. The project has created seven permanent jobs including project manager, caretaker, kitchen staff, and night carers.
Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government, officially opened the scheme and was joined by pupils from Ysgol Eifionydd Secondary School who entertained attendees with a musical performance.
Carina Roberts, community services director at Grŵp Cynefin, said:
“The residents have settled in very well and they are thoroughly enjoying their new lifestyle.
“One person had not left her house for two years before arriving here due to a large number of steps outside her property. Moving into Hafod y Gest has re-opened the door to her world and she’s been visiting the town centre and local shops.
“To see the positive change this facility has had on people’s lives is amazing.”
Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said:
“We have invested £4.5 million in Hafod y Gest because we believe that housing can play a role in keeping people healthy and independent for longer, as well as supporting the construction industry and local businesses in the supply chain.
“I’m really pleased to have had a tour and get the chance to meet some of the new residents – Hafod y Gest offers a fantastic place to live and I hope the residents will be very happy here.”
Shan Lloyd Williams, Grŵp Cynefin chief executive, said:
“This is our fourth extra care facility in North Wales and we have a fifth due to open in Denbigh next year. We are committed to providing housing solutions in the region and these schemes are a superb opportunity for older people to live independently with the flexibility of having care services if required.”
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member, Councillor Nia Jeffreys, who was part of the official opening, said:
“The Hafod y Gest development is a fantastic example of how we are working with our partners to transform our social care. Our aim is to ensure that Gwynedd’s older people can continue to live independently and safely within their communities and Hafod y Gest provides just that.
“The 24-hour care facility provides the peace and mind that care and support is available from dedicated staff members should it be required. But it also ensures that residents have their own front-door whilst giving them the opportunity to participate in a variety of social activities available at the development.
“I’d like to thank our partners at Grŵp Cynefin and the Health Board who have played a crucial role in delivering the third extra care housing facility here in Gwynedd.”