The Duke of Devonshire will tomorrow cut the ribbon in North Yorkshire at a stand-out housing facility for older people.
Up to 100 people are expected to be at Woodlands Abbeyfield House for the opening ceremony, including three long-standing residents Cynthia Heywood, Hugh Walker and Freda Tickner, who lived at Woodlands for many years before its recent development.
Woodlands was originally opened in 1980 by a group of Skipton volunteers who formed the Abbeyfield Skipton Society.
The charity housed up to eight older people for over thirty years before the local volunteers identified a growing need for quality housing for the area’s older people and drove the £4.5 million development of the now enlarged Woodlands Abbeyfield House.
Michael Lovitt, one of Abbeyfield’s volunteers in Skipton, said:
“This has been a real local initiative. It is only through the drive and vision of so many local people that this place is now a reality.
“Our reward is in seeing so many residents enjoy this wonderful place, I think everyone in Skipton can be proud of what has been achieved.”
“Without this determined band of Skipton volunteers this wonderful development would never have got off the ground.
“We aren’t just talking about a place to live, this is a supportive community which allows older people to live their lives to the full.
“Woodlands House isn’t just a flagship for Abbeyfield, it stands out in the UK nationally as a model for how great older people’s housing can be.
“I am incredibly proud that Yorkshire is leading the way.”
Abdul A Ravat, area manager at the Homes and Communities Agency said:
“These 31 homes show what we can achieve working in partnership – our investment of £755,000 has made a real difference but together with investment from Abbeyfield and a £950,000 grant from North Yorkshire County Council we have been able to make a real difference providing independent living for older people in the Skipton area.”