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NIFHA | News | £4mn invested in supported…

£4mn invested in supported housing initiative for people living with dementia

Published on: 18 February, 2013

Helm Housing and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has announced they are approaching completion of Hemsworth Court, a £4 million dedicated supported housing development for people with dementia, located off the Shankill Road, Belfast.  It is anticipated that the scheme will be completed in May 2013.

Pictured are (l-r) Sharon Stuart, NIHE Supporting People Belfast Area; Maureen Wright, Shankill House Manager, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust (BHSCT); Gabby Tinsley, Service Manager and Associate Director of Nursing, Older Peoples Service, BHSCT; Michael Foster, Temporary Director of Development, Helm Housing and Geralyn Ainsworth, Assistant Service Manager, BHSCT.The announcement is timely given the recent figures released by the Alzheimer’s Society which show that nearly 18,900 people in Northern Ireland have a form of dementia and more than half of these have Alzheimers.  Discussing the rationale behind Hemsworth Court, Michael Foster, Temporary Director of Development at Helm Housing, explains:

“Helm Housing and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust are fully aware of the impact that dementia can have on families and the challenges that it brings.  We have listened to feedback from those who have been affected by dementia and developed a dedicated supported housing scheme to help provide tangible support to these families.

“Hemsworth Court will provide modern, high quality homes for people living with dementia in a homely and secure environment. The scheme will consist of 35 new build self contained one bedroom and two bedroom flats along with on site facilities for tenants to use.

Michael continues:

“The flats are also designed to allow a partner or carer to live with the tenant in their own home. This will ensure that over any 24 hour period, an individual can access support within their own home to allow them to remain as active and independent as possible. Conveniently located off the Shankill Road, Belfast, Hemsworth Court is close to local amenities and public transport as well as Belfast City Centre.”

Each flat will have a lounge / dining area, fitted kitchen with oven, hob and washing machine, bathroom with level access shower, bedroom(s) and storage. Tenants can also furnish their flats according to personal choice. Communal facilities will also include a coffee bar area; cinema/games room; library; cookery room; reminiscence / gym room; hairdressing salon; and attractive landscaped gardens.

Staff employed by the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust will provide 24 hour support to tenants within their own flat according to their assessed need. Gabby Tinsley, Service Manager and Associate Director of Nursing, Older Peoples Service, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust explains why the Trust decided to work in partnership with Helm Housing to make supported housing of this nature available:

“Supported housing offers an alternative housing solution to people living with dementia and wish to continue to live within their own home but require support to do so. Hemsworth Court aims to enable tenants to achieve maximum independence and fulfilment and to maintain the skills and confidence to continue to live independently within their community for as long as possible.

“Tenants will be encouraged to remain actively involved in all choices related to their daily routine, supported to carry out daily living tasks and remain actively involved in their community.”

If you, a family member or someone you care for would like to live at Hemsworth Court, a housing application or housing transfer application needs to be completed. An assessment of your needs will be then be undertaken by a health care professional.

For further information on the application process please contact Hemsworth Court on: 028 9024 5984 or Helm Housing on 028 9032 0485 or email

Ends //

Notes to Editor

Helm Housing is one of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations providing some 5,300 homes throughout Northern Ireland with affordable and high quality service and accommodation.

About the Project

Total cost: £4,000,000

Started on site: 31 March 2011

Completion date: approx. May 2013

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