Our MORE! programme has come to the rescue of a Rochford charity, with a donation of £23,000 providing residents of 16th century Almshouses with much-needed kitchen upgrades and allowing them back home.

Beech Grove Homes, part of Sanctuary Group, is currently developing 72 homes at Bullwood Gardens in nearby Hockley and came to the rescue of the almshouses by providing the funds through its MORE! initiative.

The programme sees our development partners work alongside us to add further value to areas where homes are being constructed, by donating skills, resources and equipment to help important local community projects.

Exterior of Rochford Almshouses overlaid with previews of communications from Sanctuary


The almshouses at Hockley, now managed by Rochford Charities date back to the 16th Century and were in desperate need of modernisation and refurbishment. The properties were constructed in 1567 after Lord Richard Rich left money in his will for them to be built to house the people who were most in need.

Restoration work started in 2019, however delays and setbacks caused by weather, planning issues and the coronavirus pandemic had left the charity with a funding shortfall. Residents had been without access to the properties for over a year, but thankfully Sanctuary’s MORE! programme came to the rescue as contractor partners at Bullwood Gardens, Hill provided the funding that allowed the charity to install modern kitchens inside the historic homes, completing the refurbishment and allowing residents to move back home.

Rochford Charities has managed a programme of improvements with trustee and architect John Jackson and CHC Construction to bring the homes up to date, while respecting the significance of the Grade II listed buildings.

Rochford District’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Mr Daniel Efde, said: “The Rochford Almshouses Trustees and the Council already work closely together to help accommodate those clients in housing need. This support from Sanctuary and its development partners will give the Charities improvement project a much-needed boost”.

Councillor Jo McPherson said: “A huge thank you to Sanctuary for the funding towards the Almshouses. As a trustee, this has made a considerable contribution towards the refurbishment project.”

Colleen Eccles, Sanctuary’s Head of Place Shaping, added: “Sanctuary always seeks to support infrastructure projects that help people in the community. Rochford’s Almshouses are a wonderful testimony to the history of social housing and we were more than happy to help support the essential upgrading of these properties, in keeping with their Grade II listed status.”

Bullwood Gardens is an exciting new development of quality family homes being developed by Beech Grove Homes in Hockley. For more information, visit Bullwood Gardens online here.

 

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