Volunteer plea for Sidmouth’s Culver House

Abbeyfield residents settle in to new homes with a champagne evening

ABBEYFIELD residents from All Saints Road are settling in well into their new surroundings at Culver House, Sidmouth, after its �2million expansion and refit.

The Vicarage Road property, built as a vicarage in 1920, was sold to Abbeyfield by Sidmouth Consolidated Charities in November 2009 and provides sheltered accommodation and meals for the independent elderly.

While the eight flats already occupied were unaffected – being refurbished as they become empty – bedsits have been turned into one-bedroom flats for Abbeyfield residents who moved from the All Saints premises last November.

An extension has provided a lounge and more accommodation and house manager Jacqui Page, who started with Abbeyfield last September, said it was “fantastic” working at Culver House.

“There is a good staff, a wonderful committee and the tenants are nice and really get on well,” she said.

On Friday a champagne evening was held to welcome both the original flat tenants and the All Saints residents, and more social events are planned.

Most Read

Staff are employed for the day-to-day running of the house and this is overseen by a committee of volunteers.

Secretary Carol Symes is seeking more volunteers to help on the committee, both with organising social activities and overseeing health and safety issues.

Five of the seven new flats are occupied and there is one vacancy.

Project manager Philip Churchill said: “We started work last February, moving in in November on time and slightly under budget at nearly �2 million.”

Ken Beake, treasurer, said the former All Saints Road site was on the market for �595,000 and was “perfect for staff accommodation for local hotels.”

He said the three adjoining houses could also be altered back to provide three separate four bedroom homes.

Culver House committee chairman Marie Bond said of the new flats: “I think they have been done very well. They have a really lovely feel.”

Jacqui has a flat at the top of the building and, with night-time staff, there is someone on call 24 hours a day.

*If you feel able to become a volunteer for Culver House committee, contact Carol on (01395) 578114.