Gainsborough: Residents of sheltered accommodation think the loss of on site wardens will leave them vulnerable

Residents at Pillared House, Primrose Street, Gainsborough, are unhappy about the loss of the wardens. Picture: Andrew Roe
Residents at Pillared House, Primrose Street, Gainsborough, are unhappy about the loss of the wardens. Picture: Andrew Roe

Residents of Gainsborough sheltered accommodation are apprehensive and concerned that the loss of on site wardens will leave them vulnerable.

Changes are being made to sheltered housing owned by Acis group across West Lindsey district.

The nine sheltered housing schemes that the Gainsborough based housing association owns and manages in West Lindsey will be affected.

Lincolnshire County Council have decided to end the current contract to provide Housing Related Support at the end of March.

The £250,000 will instead be used towards funding the new Wellbeing Service,

Bob Johnson, who lives at Pillared House, said: “Residents are apprehensive about the fact that this is happening.”

“The accommodations house vulnerable, disabled and elderly people.”

“We have a petition to keep the wardens but I realise we may not win this.”

“They are jeopardising safety.”

“The residents rely on them.”

“They came here because there’s a warden and I came here for that reason.”

“They came in and had a meeting about the wellbeing service.”

“It’s all gadgets. There is not a personal touch. A gadget can’t do what the wardens do.”

Karen Kirk is concerned about her mum who lives in Newland Court.

She said: “We moved her there because there is a warden there every day.”

“The wardens make the place like a big family and that is all going to go.”

“They’re not thinking about the residents and what they want.”

An Acis spokesman said: “We have provided our tenants with all of the information about the new Wellbeing Service that is available at this time, along with contact details for Lincolnshire County Council who are introducing it.”

“Since our initial contact with our sheltered housing tenants, we held drop in events at each sheltered scheme in November. These were well attended and resulted in helpful feedback and a number of issues being raised. We then compiled a list of frequently asked questions and our responses, which were sent out to all of our sheltered housing tenants in January with a view to offering both clarification and reassurance. The feedback from our sheltered housing tenants has been used to inform how we will undertake our ongoing landlord role at our sheltered schemes when the new Wellbeing Service is introduced.”

“With the announcement of who Lincolnshire County Council has appointed to deliver the new Wellbeing Service imminent, we expect to be in a position to further update our sheltered housing tenants in the near future and remain committed to providing all required information to support the new service commencing.”

Tony McGinty, Assistant Director of Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The council commissions a wide range of support services to help people live independently and these are not being cut.”

“In fact, we are re-tendering to make them better meet residents’ needs.”

“We do not provide wardens although some service providers currently use wardens to provide the support services we fund.”

“The support we paid the wardens to give will still be provided through the new Wellbeing Service and through different providers.”

“It may mean that support is given in different forms and will also include a 24/7 emergency response service.”

“The new service will be open to everyone who needs it, not just those in sheltered accommodation.”