New company takes over lease of north Norfolk hall

A new company has taken over the lease of a north Norfolk hall which provides accommodation and support help for adults with special needs.

Freebridge Community Housing has entered into a partnership with the Camphill Communities Charitable Trust which runs Thornage Hall, just outside Holt, to provide housing management services.

Camphill will continue to provide care and support to the 24 tenants living there.

The hall and 50 acres of ground was given to Camphill Village Trust in the 1980s, by Edward Delaval Henry Astley, the late Lord Hastings. The community was officially opened in May 1989 as a residential home, it then went on to became a supported living facility.

As well as accommodation – including self-contained flats – the hall also includes a working farm and market garden, a bakery, a weavery and a theatre area.

It offers residents and day service users the chance to learn new skills and work, producing hand-woven items in the weavery or helping out on the farm and in the extensive gardens.

Helen Saunders, manager of Thornage Hall, said they had decided to enter into partnership with Freebridge as most supported living facilities had a separate landlord and care provider, and in looking for a suitable landlord, they had built up a good relationship with Freebridge, who they felt were sensitive to their needs.

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She said: 'This arrangement will allow us learn from Freebridge's huge wealth of housing knowledge and experience, which will be extremely beneficial to us as an organisation. Similarly, we look forward to sharing our own experience and knowledge with Freebridge to our mutual benefit.

'The partnership with Freebridge Community Housing does not change any aspect of the day-to-day running of the hall and we will continue to manage the property and support the tenants as we have done before.'

Tony Hall, chief executive of Freebridge, said: 'We are very excited to be moving into a new area of housing provision through working with Helen and her team, and we are thrilled to now be involved with such a successful, thriving and inspiring community as Thornage Hall.

'Through working together, we can improve and develop our own knowledge and understanding of each others' areas of work which will bring long-term mutual benefits for both organisations.'