Somers not over for Norwood

24 September 2012

In Norwood’s Supported Living Services, tenants are always at the centre of our provision.

Even some light drizzle didn’t dampen the spirits of the 70 guests who attended the official opening of Somers Court, Norwood’s new purpose designed block of flats in Edgware.

The Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Brian Schama, and Somers Court resident, Simone Maletskie, cut the ribbon at an "At Home" event hosted by the tenants of the property, followed by a mezuzah fixing by Norwood Advisory Council member, Rabbi Alan Plancey.

Lyn Maletskie, Simone’s mother said: "I have a great sense of excitement about Simone living at Somers Court. It’s wonderful now to have her living so close to me and her sister, so that we can see her on a more regular basis. She has adjusted very well, is never reluctant to go back to the flats after a visit home and is always full of news about what she’s been doing."

Elaine Kerr, Norwood’s Chief Executive commented: "In Norwood’s Supported Living Services, tenants are always at the centre of our provision. Whether we support someone for just a few hours each week, or give them round the clock care, we cater for each person’s specific needs and aspirations, allowing them to achieve their maximum level of independence and live a full and active Jewish life in the community."

Earlier this year Norwood won a Ruderman Prize, which goes to organisations that represent the best in inclusion and in promoting public awareness for Jewish people with disabilities. Somers Court is a great example of this because, despite the current economic climate, Norwood has managed to open this exciting service to make sure that the people they support are able to live fulfilling lives within the Jewish community.

Bernie Myers, Chair of Norwood added: "Somers Court is an important flagship project for the partnership between Norwood and the IDS. These purpose designed flats will give 14 people with learning disabilities the opportunity to live inclusive lives and be fully integrated into the Jewish community."

The block consists of seven 2 bedroom flats, each with a lounge, en-suite bathrooms, an open plan kitchen, dining area and secure parking. The flats on the ground floor have been adapted to meet the needs of those with additional physical difficulties, and assistive technology has been installed throughout to promote privacy, safety and independence.

Somers Court, named in recognition of the on-going support of the JN Somers Trust, is a joint initiative between Norwood and IDS (The Industrial Dwelling Society), an organisation established in 1885 to provide housing for Jewish people in the East End of London, and who now manage over 1,400 properties in Barnet, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Redbridge. The Milly Apthorp Charitable Trust also supported the project, through a generous donation used to provide some of the specialised equipment and assistive technology within the property.