Shackletons work to make state-of-the-art Chester-Le-Street assisted living scheme flagship for housing association


The Elms 3Shackletons has worked with Cestria Community Housing to change perceptions of older peoples housing and overcome a shortage of high-quality housing for the over 55s in Chester-le-Street.

The flagship state-of-the-art £6.5m assisted living scheme The Elms features 48 two-bedroom apartments, 4 one-bedroom apartments, 2 two-bedroom detached wheelchair adapted bungalows and 4 two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows designed specifically for people aged 55 and over who require support with their healthcare or housing.

Shackletons provided a full turn-key solution that supported Cestria Community Housing respond to the recommendations set out in ‘The HAPPI Report’ – a Government report which aims to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for people aged 55 and over.

The Elms 2With wellbeing in mind Shackletons embraced the vision for improving the quality of life for our ageing population through high quality sustainable furniture with an innovative precedent that raises the bar and challenges those preconceptions of what retirement accommodation should look like.

Being ‘care aware’ Shackletons ensured all furniture was adaptable in its function to meet the needs of the elderly should their needs and abilities alter; such as mobility, and support – it’s essence being independence, no matter the individual’s ability.

Encouraging social interaction within the communal spaces, the scheme’s use of natural light was embraced to create a pleasing environment with designed and manufactured bespoke seating and occasional furniture for the beauty/treatment room, IT suite, internet café, and office/community exhibition space.

The Elms 1Sarah Thompson, regional sales manager says: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Cestria Community Housing and help them comply with a number of design standards, including the Habinteg Wheelchair Design Guide, Lifetime Homes and Design Quality Standards.

“We were incredibly privileged to have worked on this flagship project and are really happy to see our input and product being appreciated by residents and the community alike.”

Anne Prentice, the interior designer said “Creating the interior design for The Elms enabled me to incorporate colour, pattern, local heritage and familiar items into this flagship assisted living scheme to support wayfinding, conversation points and reminiscence into key areas of the building. While ensuring that my design considered the practical and sensory needs of the future resident, in particular those with visual impairment, physical disability and dementia I wanted to provide Cestria Community Housing with an ‘eye catching’  interior design proposal which stood out from other schemes and  brought good practice and practical solutions to make this scheme as fit for purpose and enjoyable as possible for the people who will live there.  My aim – to create an interior design which makes people smile!”

Shackletons have been in the business of creating comfort for over 50 years and are the UK’s leading design and manufacturer of specialist contract furniture for the healthcare sector.


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