Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Junior Minister visits housing project for the vulnerable

20 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly visited a specialist housing project in Edinburgh today to see at firsthand examples of best practice in caring for older vulnerable people.

During his tour of the Thorntree Project, the Junior Minister met with staff and tenants and discussed the range of tailor-made support and care services provided for residents.

The Project, which provides self-contained flats for up to 12 vulnerable older people, aged 50 years or over, also offers personal care services directly to tenants by staff who are based in the accommodation night and day.

It also provides advice on welfare benefits, managing a budget, life skills training and home management.

Gerry Kelly described the Project as an example of "best practice".

"The Thorntree Project is an excellent example of housing support and personal care services. The staff here do a wonderful job and the facilities cater for a wide range of needs. Older people with additional needs require specialist support and care and a project such as Thorntree is an example of best practice.

"It is our desire to champion the cause for our older and more vulnerable people. We want to see real improvements in their lives and one way is to ensure a more co-ordinated approach to housing, health and social care. Today we have exchanged experiences and lessons in how we can afford people more respect, independence and a better quality of life," the Minister said.

Tenants can be former hostel dwellers, who have little or no recent experience of independent living or people who require additional care in relations to alcohol abuse or mental health issues.

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