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Abbeyfield & Wesley join forces with Choice to open new supported sheltered house for older people in Bangor

Pictured at the opening in Bangor are (l-r): Joe McKnight, Chairman, Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association; Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive, Abbeyfield &; Wesley Housing Association; Mayor of Ards & North Down, Councillor Robert Adair; Lady Hermon MP; Andrea Denkowski, Abbeyfield & Wesley’s House Support Manager at 111 Hamilton Road, Bangor; and Michael McDonnell, Chief Executive of Choice Housing Ireland Ltd. Picture by Jonathan Porter/

A new seven bed supported sheltered house for older people in Bangor was officially opened on 5 October following an extensive £600k refurbishment programme. The property, located at 111 Hamilton Road, Bangor, is managed by Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association on behalf of Choice Housing Ireland Ltd.

Geraldine Gilpin, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association, which provides a range of high quality accommodation and services to older people throughout Northern Ireland, commented: “We were delighted to work in partnership with Choice, owners of the Hamilton Road property, to provide additional supported sheltered housing in the Bangor area. The property has been significantly redeveloped, both internally and externally, to provide accommodation and services for seven Abbeyfield & Wesley residents in a family setting. The house is Abbeyfield & Wesley’s fourth in the Bangor area.”

Mrs Gilpin added: “Our houses provide the privacy and security many older people seek when managing alone in their own home has become a burden. Residents have their own front door key and can come and go as they please, receive visitors and enjoy meals provided by the House staff. They are free from the worries of maintaining a house and garden, paying bills and dealing with loneliness. At the centre of these homely houses are Abbeyfield & Wesley staff who are employed to ensure that the House is comfortable and safe and that meals are nutritious and enjoyable. Our House Support Manager is Andrea Denkowski, who has over twenty years of experience working with Abbeyfield.

Pictured is resident Margaret Tate with Andrea Denkowski, Abbeyfield & Wesley’s House Support Manager. Photo by Jonathan Porter/

“Our role is very much to support the residents to help them to remain independent and be involved in the community.  We do this in a number of ways.  For example every day two meals are prepared, cooked and served and all residents have an input into determining the weekly menus. In addition if residents need us to liaise with Social Services in relation to their care needs, we fulfil this role and we can assist in making appointments and filling out forms as needbe.”

Discussing the redevelopment Michael McDonnell, Group Chief Executive of Choice, said: “This is an important day for us and for our new residents at Hamilton Road.  We believe everyone should have a good home and that older citizens should have every opportunity to live independently in the community. This development is a fine example of what we are trying to achieve.

“We’re pleased to partner with Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association and value the support from the Department for Communities and the Housing Executive in transforming this site.  These smart partnerships bring together a range of expertise and mean we can better meet the needs of older people.  Today marks another milestone in our ambitious housing development plan.”

Pictured are residents Margaret Tate and Robin Calderwood. Photo by Jonathan Porter/

Speaking at the official opening, North Down MP, Lady Hermon said: ” It was an absolute joy and pleasure to have been invited to undertake the official opening of this beautifully refurbished building, which has now become home for a number of older people.

“Since old age rarely comes on its own, I take great pride and comfort from knowing that additional supported accommodation of truly excellent standards has become available in Bangor. So, I wish to warmly commend all those in Abbeyfield & Wesley Housing Association and in Choice Housing, whose efforts have contributed to making 111 Hamilton Road such a lovely, happy and safe environment in which to grow old.”

The team involved in the renovation project included JNP Architects; Andrew Bradley Ltd (Contractor); Caldwell Consulting (M&E Consultant); Naylor & Devlin (Quantity Surveyors) Albert Fry Associates (Civil & Structural Engineers) and Construction Supervisory Services (Clerk of Works).

The cost of the Hamilton Road development was £488,200 with grant of £413, 268 being provided through the Northern Ireland Housing Executive by the Department for Social Development.  The remainder was funded by Choice Housing Ireland Ltd.

Abbeyfield & Wesley has three other supported sheltered housing schemes in Bangor. They are located at 63 Ballyholme Road, 30 Bloomfield Road and 2a Ward Avenue. For further information, visit Abbeyfield & Wesley or contact Abbeyfield & Wesley Society on 028 93363558.