The Care Home Design of the Year goes to Belong Newcastle under Lyme.
This award recognises the new care homes raising the bar in terms of providing a homely and welcoming atmosphere, while also offering an environment that is supportive of great care and boosting wellbeing.
Belong Newcastle-under Lyme is the UK’s first care village to feature a historic building, the Belong Heritage Gallery, it builds on the organisation’s vibrant community model by using local heritage to bring people together. At the same time, it retains its focus on dementia-friendly, homely spaces and the gallery houses a dementia centre of excellence, with a range of carefully thought-out facilities, services, activities and unique reminiscence resources.
The Heritage Gallery was made possible through a successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid, securing £2 million to transform an iconic 17th century building and sympathetically integrate this within the village.
Working closely with museums, Belong created a range of spaces including Samuel Bell’s Tea Room, Reminiscence Lounge; Old Pomona Inn licensed pub and Arts & crafts studio with special needs potter’s wheel. Activities include memory boxes, pub games, dances, video, theatre, arts, craft & pottery. The gallery received over 4,000 visitors during the first year and won the RICS Award for Community Benefit (West Midlands 2019).
Alison Peake, general manager, said: “It’s the culmination of what we’ve all been contributing to – the opening of a new village, and being part of the community of Newcastle.
“We’re very privileged to be the custodians of such a beautiful building because it’s a lovely synergy between the historical building and the new part, the new care village.”