A Bright Future for our Local Pensioners
An exciting new community project is being planned by the doctors of the Wansford and Kings Cliffe surgery to set up a large, multi facility hub for the benefit of the elderly in this area.
The site of the former Kings Cliffe Middle School is now up for sale and plans are in motion to buy the site and build, not only a new surgery and pharmacy but a large development of assisted housing with a wide variety of supporting services. The facilities would include, among other things, a cafe which would serve hot, nutritious meals, a shop and a Wellbeing Centre which would offer a wide range of social and physical activities to provide support for people to remain both actively and physically fit plus mentoring and peer support for those with chronic diseases. The Centre would also act as a hub for a wide range of social activities which could also be used by other local elderly folk on a drop in basis.
Dr Rhiannon Nally, one of the architects of the scheme, explained how this idea has come about.
“ We are aware, when talking to our elderly patients, that so many have to look outside this area and their community to find suitable facilities to cater for their needs. Many feel isolated and lonely and this can lead to a whole series of physical, medical and mental health problems.
“ This scheme aims to offer the inter-connective ideal of the social care and medical needs of our local elderly population, being met under one roof within their own community. They will be encouraged to remain active, eat healthily and stay connected with the other people around them and have the benefit of medical care on site.”
It was also suggested that the scheme could include a training facility for local people who might like to work as Healthcare professionals and assistants which would then enable them to work closer to home.
A further benefit to the wider community would be gained by encouraging local people and schools to volunteer to help in all sorts of ways, whether it be reading with residents, helping in the kitchens or even walking the pet dog of an elderly resident.
The scheme will benefit not only Kings Cliffe but all the surrounding area, extending out as far as Corby, Stamford and Peterborough. It is still in the (advanced) planning stage and Doctors Takhar and Nally are keen to hear the views of all local residents, young and old. In order to take this project forward, Northamptonshire County Council, which is selling the land and is viewing the scheme very favourably, still needs to be finally persuaded by local Parish Councils. residents that it is in NCC’s interest ( provision of much needed social care housing) to give the green light to the project.