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These awards provide an opportunity for older people to comment on the wide range of factors that shape the quality of their life.

PRESS RELEASE

Embargo: 3pm on Tuesday 25th November

Residents celebrate Awards for best housing for later life!

The best retirement and extra care housing – decided by the votes of older people themselves - won national recognition at an awards ceremony in Doncaster today.

The national Housing for Older People Awards were presented at a celebration lunch at Doncaster Racecourse. Singer and actress Anita Harris was the Guest of Honour and residents and staff of sheltered and retirement schemes from throughout the UK were present to cheer on their winning development.

More than 3300 residents of nearly 300 specialist housing schemes helped choose the award winners in a unique process overseen by EAC. The awards are sponsored by Legal & General.

The residents rate their scheme on a variety of statements relating to both the quality of the property and the care (where relevant), support and general sense of wellbeing they enjoy there.

To make the process more entertaining the statements are written on cards, effectively allowing the residents to form small groups and play a card game while contributing to the awards process. They evaluate their accommodation on the basis of location, building quality, their own apartments, services and lifestyle.

Specific factors under these headings include:

• Whether residents feel part of their wider community
• The level of privacy they can enjoy when they wish
• Whether their views are sought and taken account of
• Staff attitudes towards residents
• The opportunity for social activities and other interaction with fellow residents or neighbours
• The space, natural light and design quality of their accommodation.

EAC chief executive John Galvin says the awards are helping to establish a clear picture of what matters to older people and to what extent developers and providers are meeting those expectations.

He said: “In any sector it is the voice of the customer that matters most. These awards provide an opportunity for older people to comment on the wide range of factors that shape the quality of their life. They can have their say on everything from the location and design quality to the attitude of staff. By doing so they are recognising high quality accommodation or service and helping to shape new specialist accommodation by contributing to a database of customer views.”

The award for the best overall scheme or development, sponsored by EAC – Elderly Accommodation Counsel, was won by Camoys Court in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire. Camoys Court is managed by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

Chestnut House in Putney in London was judged the best scheme for Community Services, an award sponsored by Keepmoat. It is managed by Paragon Community Housing Group.

A full list of the winners and highly commended schemes across thrirteen categories is available here.

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Legal & General, said: “Legal & General is delighted to continue the valued relationship we have with EAC Awards as a sponsor once again of this year’s awards.

“As a responsible and caring insurer, we are always interested in opportunities that enable people to let us know what they really think. The link with EAC and the awards helps to improve our understanding of our society. The valued feedback we receive helps us to develop and define the contribution we can make in providing for our customers with dignity in the future.”

Jeremy Porteus director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN), which is one of the awards sponsors, said: "What makes these housing awards so special and distinct is that they represent the voice of the residents and tenants. It is their voices - not those of housing professionals or staff - that count. They are all winners and shining examples of the effective resident or tenant participation that the Housing LIN advocates.”

Notes to Editors:

1. Elderly Accommodation Counsel provides information and advice about housing and care options to older people and their relatives and carers. It has a national telephone helpline (0800 377 7070) and also oversees a website (www.housingcare.org) with a unique database of over 40,000 specialist accommodation schemes for older people.
2. For further information on the awards (journalists only), photographs or to interview John Galvin or residents or staff of your local winners, please call Alex Billeter on 020 7820 1682 or email alex.billeter@eac.org.uk or visit the website.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Elderly Accommodation Counsel in the following categories: Home & Garden, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, Construction & Property, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.