Norfolk’s sight loss charity Vision Norfolk has unveiled a £650,000 investment in its Norwich-based Hammond Court accommodation, which enables vision impaired people to live independent lives.
All 20 of the flats have been significantly upgraded, including expanding bedsit studios into one-bedroom flats, installing new adapted kitchens and bathrooms, and adding patio doors in every flat, enabling residents to access the sensory gardens which surround the development.
The refurbishment to Hammond Court, which is situated just off Magpie Road in the city and was built in 1980, was made possible by a generous legacy to the charity.
“Supporting vision impaired people to live full and independent lives is a central part of what Vision Norfolk is about, and our Hammond Court accommodation has played a key role in that for more than four decades,” said Vision Norfolk chief executive Andrew Morter.
“After such a long time, the accommodation really needed upgrading, and we considered that bedsit studios were no longer fit for purpose in 2023.
“We have been extremely fortunate to receive a generous legacy which has enabled us to undertake this work. Like many charities, legacies are an important part of our income, and enable us to do so much more to support people living with sight loss throughout Norfolk.”
As well as 20 flats, Hammond Court has a residents’ lounge and tranquil, well-kept gardens. The complex has a lively programme of activities and outings, and residents also organise their own social occasions, such as a Friday film night where each brings food to share.
Case Study: Kate Pentney
Kate has lived at Hammond Court since 1988. During the refurbishment her bedsit studio has been enlarged into a one-bedroom flat, with patio doors leading out into the communal gardens.
“I love it here, it gives me the freedom of being independent with my own front door, but with support available should I need it,” says Kate.
“I’m really happy with the improvements which have been made. The flat is now much less claustrophobic and more spacious. I really appreciate having a separate bedroom and being able to close the door on it when I have visitors.
“I love the new open-plan kitchen which is much easier for me to find my way around. It has taken a little time to get used to the new layout, but it is now very much home. I look forward to living independently here for a long time yet.”
Case Study: Louise Bunting
Louise has lived at Hammond Court for 20 years. Her bedsit studio has also been enlarged into a one-bedroom flat, with patio doors opening out onto a lawned area.
“I am so happy to have a proper one-bedroom flat with a separate, private bedroom,” says Louise. “It has so much more space, and I am looking forward to making the most of the summer months and being able to open my patio doors and go out into the garden.
“Although the refurbishment caused a little inconvenience, it has definitely been worth it, and all of the residents here are very happy with their new homes.”
For more details of making a legacy to support the work Vision Norfolk does with those living with sight loss in the county, please visit www.visionnorfolk.org.uk/get-involved/legacy-gift.