What is it?
Webster Court, Lakenfields is a typical sheltered housing development of the 1960’s - solidly built and well maintained but requiring modernisation. It is owned by Norwich City Council and has been managed by them since it opened. In the Autumn of 2013, following a strategic review of all its sheltered housing developments, the City Council decided that Lakenfields (as it was then known) should be “de-commissioned”. The City Council began looking for a partner organisation that might be interested in leasing the property from them.
Where is it?
13-47 Webster Court, Lakenfields (off City Road) NR1 2HB
What does the property consist of?
Webster Court is a two-storey “H block” design consisting of 33 apartments. Each apartment comprises a bedroom, kitchen, lounge/diner and bathroom.
There is also a lift, a communal lounge with a small kitchen, a communal laundry and a wheelchair accessible bathroom.
How did St Martins get involved?
St Martins is a Norwich charity with a long history of providing services and accommodation (emergency and longer-term) for people who have experienced homelessness - see back panel.
In common with many organisations that offer long-term care the average age of the people St Martins cares for is increasing. In other words we have to face the challenges of caring for people who are physically frail and who perhaps have mental health issues too such as dementia. As a charity we need to look to the future and plan our services accordingly.
All of our service users have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. St Martins has provided care and support to many of our service users over a period of years.
Webster Court represents an opportunity for St Martins to address the issue of our ageing service user population. In so doing we will be working with Norfolk County Council and playing our part in providing good quality care and housing services for older people in Norwich.
Consequently St Martin signed a long lease for the property with Norwich City Council.
St Martins at Webster Court: our plans for the future
One of the two Care Homes that St Martins manages elsewhere in Norwich is no longer “fit-for-purpose”. It was not capable of being refurbished to the physical standards expected by the Government’s regulatory body (the Care Quality Commission). Some of the older people cared for by St Martins at this Care Home have now been moved to Webster Court with some of the staff that care for them. A refurbishment programme was required rendering some of the apartments capable of being used by people with mobility problems. This internal construction project began in Autumn 2014.
The remainder of the apartments will also undergo minor improvements. They will be let by St Martins to people over the age of 50.
These tenants will also receive a support service from staff on site - although they will live independently and largely care for themselves.