£10m care village will help young and young at heart flourish
Published: Thursday 12 Apr 2018 by Fife Council
Methil Care Village Artist Impression
The construction of a new Care Village in Methil will see the delivery of an innovative and creative solution which turns traditional thinking on its head.
In a first for the Kingdom, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (FHSCP), alongside Fife Council’s Housing and Education and Children’s Services are taking an intergenerational approach to build:
- a new 36 bed residential care home,
- specific needs housing, and;
- a new Early Years Centre
all on the site of the former Kirkland High School site on Methilhaven Road. Funding from Scottish Government, Housing Revenue and Fife Council’s Capital Programme will see a total of just over £10million being invested and was approved by Fife Council’s Policy & Coordination Committee today (12 April 18).
The new care home and the Early Years Centre will be joined together through a shared space which will contain a café, multi-functional space for activities as well as meeting and conference rooms. The care village will also include a mix of housing designed to meet a range of support needs.
The concept of intergenerational care began in 1976 when a nursery school and a care home were combined in Tokyo. Since then, there have been successful schemes across Europe, Australia and the US. In the UK it is early days but Fife is proactively working towards care that helps both the young and the young at heart to flourish.
Cllr David Alexander, Fife Council Co-Leader said: “This is a really exciting project. It will provide some essentials – a much needed care home replacement, a contribution to our target of 3,500 more affordable homes and increased nursery capacity to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to 1,140 hours of early learning and childcare entitlement. But it could be much more than these component parts. What we’re aiming for is a brand new, inter-generational community facility. Bringing children and adults together in activities is beneficial for the people directly involved, and is also proven to build more cohesive communities.”
Co-Leader Cllr David Ross added: “I’m delighted we’ve approved these outline plans. This kind of multi-purpose facility at the heart of communities is exactly what we’ve described in our Plan for Fife. This building will integrate a range of services provided by the Council and the Health & Social Care Partnership and has the potential to involve many community groups. Designing local services around people in this way will help us create thriving places and support successful and confident Fifers. The nursery element is dependent on funding coming from the Scottish Government’s 1,140 hours expansion programme, which we expect confirmation of in May. However, we’re hopeful that this new care village could be open by summer 2020.”
Cllr David Graham, Health and Social Care spokesperson for Fife Council welcomed the announcement: “I am delighted that not only will Methil have a new care village but it will be part of a movement to nurture and develop contact between young and older people. In today’s world, this has never been more important. I am pleased to see services working in partnership to not only deliver high quality care but to also help build and strengthen communities by taking such an innovative approach.”
Leading the programme of work for Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, David Heaney, Divisional General Manager (East) gives more information on the intergenerational approach: “We see the approach we are taking in Methil as having benefits across generations as the service users share and learn from each other’s perspectives.
We have always encouraged younger and older generations to visit and mix, whether this is through accommodating visits to our day centres or care homes from nursery and primary school pupils.
Our vision for the Methil care village is to see people live, play and connect as part of one shared community. The approach also extends to the gardens where there will be outside space which will provide opportunities for shared learning and social activities in a safe environment.”
John Mills, Head of Housing Services, Fife Council states the commitment to increasing housing opportunities for older people and for people with specific needs to remain in their community:
“The Methil Care Village is a vital commitment in the Council’s Affordable Housing Programme to build extra care bungalows and specific needs housing for people in the Levenmouth area. Built to a very high standard, these individual homes will enable tenants to remain in the community with the ability to use support and care services as part of the Care Village.”
Clark Graham, Education Officer, Fife Council welcomed this new approach to early learning and childcare:
“Whilst ensuring we provide sufficient capacity for those children in the Methil area to access their entitled funded time in nursery, this is an exciting, innovative opportunity to support a planned approach to intergenerational work. The benefits which will be provided by our youngest children playing and learning alongside the care home service users and residents can only strengthen the links and relationships within the community both now and in the future.”