Specialist housing provider Alpha Living and its residents are celebrating after winning a prestigious housing accolade for Best Older People’s Landlord across the UK.
The multi-award winning Wirral-based housing association won an Affordable Housing Award in Manchester, where it was judged by a panel of residents and housing experts as the best provider of affordable housing for people aged over 55 in the UK.
The judging panel highlighted how close the Alpha Living team is to its customers, working with communities across the North to deliver first class services for the over 55s.
In their comments, the judges said, “Alpha Living’s service for older people most impressed the judges because of its compassion. Alpha’s values do not just exist on paper but clearly sit at the heart of the way they serve their residents, providing the best possible environment for people to grow old in.”
Commenting on living in an award-winning scheme, Pat Gerrard added, “The best thing about Alpha is that I have my independence and the property is ideal for people like me with mobility issues, as there are flat surfaces and it’s spacious.”
Steve Eaves, Chair of Alpha Living, said, “Compassion is at the heart of everything Alpha Living does. I am so proud of this thoroughly deserved national recognition which we have won alongside our residents, who we rightly cherish as an integral part of our Alpha Living team. It’s been a privilege to see first-hand how dedicated Alpha Living colleagues go above and beyond to support residents in their homes.”
Graeme Foster, CEO of Alpha Living, said, “We are so proud to have won this Award for providing outstanding levels of service shaped around the needs of our residents. Over the last year, our team has taken even greater strides to support our residents throughout the Cost-of-Living Crisis, continuing to deliver our compassionate service. There’s a genuine shared passion at Alpha Living. As we are a small housing association, we know all of our residents personally and care deeply about them.”
Unlike many housing associations, Alpha Living has retained full-time development managers on-site who are always available to assist residents or support their families. To encourage social contact and stop residents feeling isolated, managers arrange programmes of activities from talks and demonstrations to regular lunch clubs and trips.
Demonstrating the high esteem development managers are held in, resident Mr Snellgrove said, “She truly is one in a million and her professionalism, care and compassion will never be forgotten by us all.”
To combat the cost-of-living crisis, after engaging with residents, Alpha Living developed a LivingWell fund to ensure its most vulnerable customers can access support for higher energy costs, food and other day-to-day essentials.
Alpha Living also partnered with health and education organisations to enable residents to better communicate with relatives and friends and to combat loneliness by improving their digital skills. Alpha teamed up with Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Met College to arrange for groups of students aged from 16 to 17 to teach iPad, Skype and smart phone skills.
Dr Joanne Chwalko, CEO of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said, “It was fantastic to see how much the young people got out of the activity too. As they built relationships and shared knowledge there was a real sense of pride and compassion, and the young people soon realised that the residents have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share too!”
Alpha Living opened the doors to its £13.5m flagship scheme; its first extra care development and Wirral’s largest extra care scheme, in 2021. Poppyfields includes 78 self-contained apartments for over 55s. Alpha Living is committed to further developments, continuing to positively impact the lives of as many older people as possible, with planning permission granted for its next extra care development of 81 self-contained apartments.
Image: The Alpha Living team which won the Best Older People’s Landlord at the Affordable Housing Awards