Formal Opening For Fellowship House

Published 3rd July 2012

The Association welcomed David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation (the Movement’s trade body) to Fellowship House in Hoylake, in May, to formally open the accommodation provided through the Association`s £600K investment in the property. David Orr said that the scheme was, “Unique” and a testament to years of painstaking work by the Association and the families to meet their housing needs.

Seven young people have been assisted in securing independence from the `family` home in a supported setting. Each resident has a large bedsitting room with en-suite washing and toilet facilities, together with access to communal lounge and dining facilities. There is accommodation for care staff to sleep over and a lift is provided to all floors.

The property is a large villa built over 3 floors in 1889. The house was not laid out in a manner efficient to the modern day with separate servant’s stair arrangements and provision. The project required considerable skill therefore by the Association in structurally adjusting the building, but the lavish sized accommodation in other ways eventually benefited the new residents in terms of space standards and facilities.

In the 1930s it appears that the property, now known as Fellowship House, became a home for the blind and deaf (local sources suggest, the first in Britain). Eventually the house passed into the hands of Wirral Council whose Social Services Department used it as a large group home for people with learning disabilities.

As the popular trend moved away from large scale local authority group home provision, the Council went through a long process of managed decline with the final two remaining residents moving out in 2008, one into a new smaller and more intimate group home arrangement developed nearby by Wirral Methodist.

The Association purchased the property outright for £100,000 from Wirral Council. Work commenced on site in February 2011 and the scheme was completed and occupied finally in August the same year.