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Saturday 31 August 2019

Cheshire East Council with Your Housing Group and Avantage

30 August 2019

Cheshire East Council, Your Housing and Avantage continue to closely together to support residents who lost their homes as a result of the fire that destroyed the Beechmere Extra Care Village on the 8 August 2019.

The council’s main focus continues to be to secure long-term homes for residents and ensuring that any care needs are reviewed and are met in their temporary and future accommodation. 

As a result of the fire, 150 residents lost their homes. The council’s social care teams have contacted and undertaken assessments with all the residents to fully understand their needs and preferences.  Everyone has been accommodated and over 30 residents are now in permanent homes.  The council, Your Housing and Avantage are working together to find suitable permanent homes for all residents.

Councillor Laura Jeuda, cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care and health, said: “Our social care and housing teams continue to work tirelessly to find permanent homes for Beechmere’s residents.  Clearly, the fire has caused significant pressure on the availability of care and accommodation in the borough, but we will do everything we can to ensure that people move into safe, permanent homes as soon as possible.

“Many of the residents were evacuated from the site with little more than the clothes they were wearing – some lost everything. 

“I have heard many heart-breaking stories of residents who have lost their beloved pets, memories and treasured items.  To support residents to come to terms with these losses, our social work team and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust have provided emotional and psychological support for those affected.

“I would like to add my voice to those who have already spoken about the overwhelming outpouring of generosity and community spirit shown by the people and businesses of Crewe (and beyond).  They have made donations of money, time, clothing, furniture, toiletries and many other essentials and little luxuries that will make this very difficult time more bearable. 

“In the hours following the fire, people from all walks of life came to offer all kinds of support. For example, a family had drawn pictures and put them in frames with a note saying ‘We are sorry about what you are going through. Please enjoy this picture until you can fill this frame with your own again.’ A lady brought knitting sets for residents, as she was in a fire many years ago and found that in the following days/weeks, she wanted something to do, that would  take her mind off the situation.

“Our communities team saw very many acts of selfless generosity as they coordinated the mountain of donations and more than 400 volunteers at the Crewe Lifestyle Centre and then at the collection centres at St Peters Church, Crewe and the old Crewe library building.

“As the recovery continues, residents and their relatives have contacted us with a range of concerns including enquiries around prescriptions, direct debits, benefits, insurance, redirection of mail, passports, ID and bus passes, which we are helping to get arranged.  Direct debits for council tax and other housing costs have been stopped.

“Residents and relatives who have any concerns about social care and accommodation, with regards to the fire at Beechmere in Crewe, can call our 24-hour helpline on 0300 123 5025.”

Your Housing Group CEO Brian Cronin, commented: “Our staff have been working tirelessly since the fire started to help our residents. We are putting every resource available into responding to the crisis and supporting residents with a team of resident liaison officers.

“We’re working closely with Cheshire East Council to source and allocate suitable accommodation.  This is a devastating situation involving vulnerable people and we are working round the clock to find permanent accommodation that is appropriate for each individual’s needs. 

“We have had overwhelming support from the residents and the wider community and they remain our number one priority. We are committed to rebuild Beechmere on this site but this will take several years. We have allocated a multi-million fund to support residents as they transition into long term new homes including buying suitable properties where possible, furniture and clothing.”

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