Mel Cook, Chairman of Synergy, welcomed the guests to Lion Oak Court, one of three new Extra Care schemes that Synergy have built and are to be officially opened in July. "Lion Oak Court cost £8.6 million, and provides 72 self contained one and two bedroom appartments, with a large number of communal facilities. These include a kitchen, dining room, lounge, IT room, hair salon, laundry room, assisted bathroom and even a buggy store. Each appartment gives residents their own home with their own front door, but also provides the opportunity to be part of a community that meets the needs of both the active and less active residents." Mel Cook then introduced Sir George, a former housing minister, to unveil the plaque.
Sir George congratulated Synergy, together with Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire County Council for building this new scheme in a challenging economic environment. "This scheme reflects the way that Andover is changing, with low density accommodation making way for higher density accommodation specialy designed for Andover's population as it grows older. Sir George commended the way that Synergy had liaised with Adult Services and First Wessex - the care and support providers for this scheme - to provide a high quality environment."
"Of course one can provide high quality care in an old building, but it is actually easier to do it in a building such as this one, with a new space standard, and all the modern facilities." Sir George also commended the way that traditional barriers between housing and social services, and between social services and health were being broken down, to meet the needs of clients.
At the unveiling of the plaque was the Deputy Mayor of Test Valley Borough Council, Dorothy Baverstock, County Councillors Pam Mutton, David Drew and Pat West, and the Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Ian Carr, together with other Borough Councillors.