Families unhappy over empty flats at Gretton Court

As residents and families gathered at an extra care residential complex in Melton for the first social event since the Covid lockdown there was unhappiness that almost half of the flats remain vacant.

By Nick Rennie
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 4:54 pm
The first social event at Gretton Court, in Melton, since the Covid lockdowns
The first social event at Gretton Court, in Melton, since the Covid lockdowns

Gretton Court, on Egerton View, is operated by Melton Borough Council for people who wish to remain independent and live in a community facility.

More than 80 current and former residents, friends and family members attended Saturday’s get-together in their sensory garden to enjoy a chat over tea and cake.

It was organised by the Friends of Gretton Court, a group of people who support the interests of those who live in the 42-apartment complex.

The first social event at Gretton Court, in Melton, since the Covid lockdowns

Member, Allen Thwaites, told the Melton Times: “It is unfortunate to note that the Melton Borough and Leicestershire County Councils are not working quicker to fill almost 20 empty flats.

“The flats provide a safe community for the elderly who want to live as individuals but need ongoing support.

“We believe that this facility allows people to live safe independent lives with dignity and many empty flats means there are people in and around Melton that could benefit from this excellent facility.”

The borough council said it was committed to finding new residents to live at the residential complex.

The first social event at Gretton Court, in Melton, since the Covid lockdowns

A spokeswoman told the Melton Times: “We are aware there are a number of vacant flats and are currently working very hard to contact potential applicants.

“We are actively considering ways to ensure Gretton Court remains a scheme of choice, including any potential reconfiguration of bathroom facilities.”

Saturday’s social event was marked by people adding 19 new memorial leaves to the Memory Tree in the garden for friends who have passed away in the two years since they last all met. Those remembered were past residents and others with links to the extra care site.

A new leaf was added for the artist Liam McCallion, who designed and built the full-sized stainless steel memorial tree, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 2019.

The new leaves which were added to Gretton Court's memory tree for people who have passed away recently

In his opening speech, Mr Thwaites thanked fellow members of the Friends of Gretton Court for their continuing maintenance of the sensory garden, particularly Brian and Ruby Hamilton, and keeping it open as a safe place for contemplation and reflection.

He also praised Simon and Dawn Hall for their outstanding contribution to the group.

The Friends of Gretton Court were grateful for the donations and contributions at the event with over £170 raised towards the ongoing maintenance of the sensory garden.

The housing scheme is linked to a two-way communication system with staff on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week for on-site care and support.

The first social event at Gretton Court, in Melton, since the Covid lockdowns

To be eligible to live there, residents need to be assessed by adult social care as needing a minimum of three hours care per week.

Anyone who requires the care and support provided at Gretton Court and is interested in moving there is asked to contact the council’s adult social care staff for a needs assessment or the Housing Options Team.