There is celebrations at a housing association’s extra care scheme in Porthmadog this week, marking a full year since opening Hafod y Gest.
Tenants living in Grŵp Cynefin’s Hafod y Gest development, located in the town centre, have created a close-knit community and say "they can't be at a better suited location."
Whilst cutting the birthday cake at the £7.8m development that allows older people in the area to live independently within a safe community environment where flexible support and care services are available, staff say they are delighted that the 49 residents have settled into their new home.
Gaynor Owen, 82, who moved to Hafod y Gest from her flat in Porthmadog a year ago, said: “I get up in the morning and give thanks for living in such a nice place. The designers have done a great job creating the space, where everything is easily accessible.
“We are free to live independently in our flats, but support is available from staff and carers, if required. My health is not 100% at the moment, but having people around me and the opportunity to socialise in the different activities available is a great help.
“The exercise class has really helped me strengthen my muscles after my hip fracture. I feel the class is having a positive impact on me, I'm much firmer on my feet and it has given me back my self-confidence.”
Helen Griffiths, 58, the first tenant to move to Hafod y Gest a year ago, said: “I'm happy to be here, as I have my independence within my flat, but I’m also able to pop into town in my wheelchair. As I suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, I have some days when I become indifferent to preparing food. Since coming here, lunch is prepared for me, and it gives me consistency within my diet, no matter how I feel.
Helen Griffiths also praises the provision available for her family to stay at Hafod y Gest, when visiting. At a reasonable price, there is a visitor's room within the complex where family members can stay and sleep overnight.
"Having that option has been really great for us, as I only have a small spare room within the flat."
Hafod y Gest consists of 26 two-bedroom and 14 one-bedroom apartments and was developed in partnership with Gwynedd Council and Grŵp Cynefin by Anwyl Construction. It was part-funded by Welsh Government’s Housing Grant.
During the construction phase, 12 North Wales apprentices worked on site, with 92 per cent of the total workforce living in the region. The project has created seven permanent roles including a manager, caretaker, kitchen staff and night carers.
Shan Lloyd Williams, Chief Executive of Grŵp Cynefin, said: “This is our fourth extra care scheme in North Wales and we are delighted to be able to mark this important milestone and celebrate the first birthday with everyone settled and the facility flourishing.
“As a housing association we are committed to providing housing solutions in the region and these schemes are a great opportunity for older people to live independently with the flexibility of accessing care services if required.”
Gwynedd Council's Adult, Health and Well Being Cabinet Member, Councillor Dafydd Meurig, said: “Hafod y Gest development is a wonderful example of how we are working with our partners to transform our social care. One year on, it's good to see that many of Gwynedd's older people are settled, comfortable and continue to live independently and safely within their communities.
“I would like to thank our partners at Grŵp Cynefin and the Health Board who have played a crucial role in providing our third extra care housing facility here in Gwynedd. Most of all, I would like to thank the staff for their care and support of the tenants, throughout the year.”