New care scheme to launch in Washington


A new care scheme is launching in Washington aimed at improving the lives over 55s in Sunderland, with a focus on independent living within a supportive community.

The £8.7m care scheme, initiated by Riverside ECHG, will include 79 one and two bedroom modern apartments providing communal facilities as well as care and support tailored to the individual’s needs.

Among the communal facilities, the development will boast a hairdressers, shops and restaurants.

It is hoped that the project will bring new life to the currently derelict site in Washington, providing numerous employment opportunities such as hair dressers and beauty therapists.

David Robinson, Project Supervisor for Riverside, has spoken in favour of the development, stating that: “The scheme will bring a contemporary feel to the area and its community and I’m enthusiastic about the project.”

Coun Graeme Miller, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for health housing and adult Services, also expressed his enthusiasm for the development and its possible benefits to the local community. He said: “It is very exciting that Washington will be benefiting from a new extra care housing scheme.

“I have seen these schemes in operation, and continue to be overwhelmed by the positive changes the accommodation and the services it provides can bring to the people living there.”

The site has entered the first stages of demolition this week, with diggers using safe and economical methods of hydraulic demolition instead of a more explosive alternative.

The development will be built on the site of the Washington Miners Welfare Club. The club’s historic archway will be entrusted to the local heritage group to be stored until a new home is found.

David Robinson has called this archway “a very significant piece of history to the local community in Washington” and stated that “keeping this safe means a lot to the Washington mining heritage”.

In an effort to utilise local creativity and experience, Riverside ECHG are appealing to students at colleges around Washington and Sunderland who are studying on digital media and film courses. The Students will be encouraged to contribute to the photography and digital element of the redevelopment as well as working on photographic reminiscence and memory films for individuals suffering from dementia.

The project is expected to be completed in August 2016. If you are interested in helping with the scheme, contact Susan Littlemore, Business Growth Marketing Coordinator at Riverside ECHG at


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