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Local Mayor meets residents for Starts at Home Day

The Mayor of Reigate and Banstead, Cllr Eddy Humphreys, has visited Portland House in Merstham to meet residents and staff of the sheltered housing scheme.

The Mayor, along with Mayoress Mrs Sarah Humphreys, were invited to visit the scheme by Raven Housing Trust as part of the National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home campaign, which celebrates the positive impact of supported housing on communities across the country.

The visitors were greeted by residents of Portland House, ranging in age from 69 to 92, and all active members of the sheltered housing scheme, and had opportunity to see first-hand the importance of good-quality supported housing in making ageing a positive experience.

Raven Housing Trust’s support staff offer a range of activities and opportunities across their sheltered schemes including trips to the theatre, gardening groups, film nights, art classes and a local ‘men in sheds’ programme.

During the visit, staff and residents shared a barbeque with their visitors and Portland House staff were also presented with gifts by Natalie Flageul, Raven Housing Trust’s Executive Director of Customer Experience, in recognition of their work in enabling residents to live independently while feeling fully supported in their homes.

Natalie said: “We’re committed to treating people as individuals and know that support means different things to different people. We’re immensely proud of our staff at Portland House and all our sheltered housing schemes in delivering such a high-quality and personal service to enable our fantastic residents to live independent, healthy lives.

“It was a pleasure to showcase this scheme to our local Mayor and Mayoress as part of Starts at Home Day, highlighting the importance of comfortable and affordable homes for all ages.”

Jaime Neale, Supported Housing Manager for Raven Housing Trust, added: “We know that being over 60 doesn’t mean slowing down, with some of our residents still in paid work or looking after grandchildren. So rather than telling customers what they need, we listen to customers and tailor our activities and services to meet their needs or suggestions. It’s been wonderful to take a moment to celebrate the work that is done across our sheltered housing schemes with our visitors, staff and residents.”

Cllr Eddy Humphreys, The Mayor of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead said: “The Mayoress and I were delighted to take part in the celebrations and to meet and chat with the staff and residents of Portland House. The benefit of the scheme shows what can be done when people work together.”

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