Andrew and Debbie Thould outside their new Two Castles home
Castles & Coasts

Member Article

Two Castles helps family feel quickly at home

A new £3.8 million affordable housing scheme in Kendal has improved the quality of life for one Cumbrian family, after their privately rented home could no longer meet their needs.

Andrew Thould, who runs a window cleaning business in Kendal with his family, suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The condition causes persistent exhaustion, making everyday tasks such as climbing stairs extremely difficult.

Andrew had long struggled to get up the stairs in his privately rented home, something which affected his quality of life. After finding out that Two Castles offered affordable housing that could be specially adapted to suit Andrew’s needs, the family joined the waiting list.

The Thould family, including mum Debbie, and children Ryan, Joshua, and Danielle are now settling in to a new three-bedroom home in Two Castles Housing Association’s Fir Tree Rise development in Kendal.

Prior to the Thoulds moving in, Two Castles adapted the home, adding an additional bathroom downstairs, to make life that little bit easier for Andrew and his family.

Debbie said: “Two Castles have been amazing and have really gone out of their way to help us. Before we moved in, they put in a bathroom downstairs, which has been a huge help for Andrew, and all of us.

“In our old home Andrew needed our help every time he wanted to go upstairs. With a bathroom downstairs Andrew only needs to tackle the stairs once a day, when he goes to bed. It sounds simple, but it has made life so much better for him.

“Moving to our new home has made a big difference to family life. Everything is so much easier for us now, my husband is far less fatigued just because our new home suits him so much better.”

The Thould’s home is one of 27 new affordable homes built by Esh Property Services in partnership with Two Castles under the Hadrian Development Solutions Partnership. The affordable homes have all been let to people in housing need with a connection to the town or surrounding area.

Part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with support from South Lakeland District Council, the development includes 14 two-bedroom homes, one two bedroom bungalow, as well as 10 three-bedroom and two four-bedroom homes.

The new homes are built using materials in keeping with the local area and each is constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 Standards, including a number of energy-efficient features to help keep residents’ energy bills affordable.

Rob Brittain, property services director at Two Castles Housing Association, said: “We’re delighted that Andrew and his family are settling into their new home on Fir Tree Rise and that we have been able to provide somewhere fully suited to the needs of the family.

“By working with partners such as Esh to provide these homes we are not only helping the Thould family, we are also ensuring other local people who might otherwise have had to move from the area can continue to enjoy life in the community they call home.”

Other recently completed Two Castles’ developments in the North West include 18 new homes in Staveley and 10 new homes in Guldrey Lane, Sedbergh. Meanwhile, work continues on site for 43 new homes at Berners Close in Grange-over-Sands. There are also a further 32 new affordable homes planned to go on site during 2015/16 in South Lakeland to help tackle the housing crisis.

Simon Phillips, Regional Managing Director of Esh Border Construction and Esh Property Services in Cumbria, said: “We’ve been delighted to help Andrew and his family by making the adaptations to their new home. As a construction company working closely with communities it’s really rewarding to see the differences we can make to quality of life through our building works.

“These new stone-built homes blend really well with their surroundings and, on their hillside site, flank one of the main routes into Kendal used by local people and tourists alike. The feedback that has been received has been extremely positive and we hope that both the new residents and visitors to the area enjoy them for many years to come.”

Councillor Heidi Halliday, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Strategic Growth, said: “We are working hard, together with partners including housing associations such as Two Castles and private housing developers, to maximise delivery of new market and affordable homes across the district.

“Our Council Plan includes key commitments to provide homes to meet need and our core strategy requires that 35 per cent of new dwellings on larger sites should be affordable housing.

“This shows our determination to meet the challenge of providing new housing, including affordable homes for local people. We are especially keen to give our young people the opportunity to live and work in the areas where they have grown up.“Cllr Peter Thornton

To find out more about Two Castles Housing Association, visit www.twocastles.org.uk or follow us on our official Twitter account @TwoCastlesHA

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Castles & Coasts .

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