Phoebe Cusden House up for Public Service Excellence Award

Phoebe Cusden House

PHOEBE Cusden House is set for national recognition after it was nominated in this year’s Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards.

The supported living scheme  – opened by Reading Borough Council in April this year – has been nominated in the Best Housing & Regeneration or New Build Initiative category at the 2017 APSE awards.

The awards have attracted over 310 submissions with over 100 organisations taking part from across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  Only the best submissions have been short listed in each category. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in Oxford in early September.

Named after a former Mayor of Reading,  Phoebe Cusden House provides 11 much-needed supported living flats for residents with disabilities and is owned and managed by the Council. The tenancies support residents who need help with daily living and personal care and offers a real alternative to residential care, giving the individuals greater independence, dignity and choice in their lives, to control the care they receive and enable them to live fulfilling lives.

Rachel Eden, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“I know from speaking to residents themselves the real difference Phoebe Cusden House is making to their lives every day.

“It provides people with the independence they want whilst knowing support is on hand as and when they need it. It is fantastic that the value of Phoebe Cusden House has been recognised nationally in this way.”

Cllr John Ennis, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Housing, said:

“Phoebe Cusden House is the perfect example of an excellent facility delivered by the local Council that is making a real difference to the people who live there, and to the local community.

“I am delighted that this publicly funded and publicly delivered scheme has received the recognition it deserves. I’m certain residents of Phoebe Cusden House will join me in cheering them on in early September when the winners are announced.”

Phoebe Cusden House is located next to Cedar Court, the Council’s extra care housing scheme which opened on the former Avenue School site in Basingstoke Road in 2014. Its location provides superb access to public transport links and local facilities, so tenants can access work and leisure activities, whilst forging stronger links with the wider community.

The building includes a lift and is fully wheelchair accessible. It has been designed to meet high standards of sustainability, through the use of under floor heating, biomass boilers and recycling and composting facilities. It will efficiently share its heating and sprinkler system with Cedar Court.

The £2 million pound development is jointly funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Reading Borough Council. The Care and Support Specialist Housing Fund (managed by the HCA) which is designed to help older people, or those with disabilities or mental health problems, to live more independently, provided £450,000 towards the build.

Lisa Clayton of the Homes and Communities Agency, said:

“The HCA is proud to have played a role in providing housing that makes a real difference to the lives of vulnerable people in Reading and it is especially gratifying to see this development recognised by such a prestigious award.”

The new scheme is named in honour of the former Mayor of Reading, Phoebe Cusden MBE (1887-1981), who became mayor in 1946 and is best known for her work to promote friendship between the peoples of Reading and Düsseldorf after the Second World War.

Oscar Mortali

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