The Chair of Bield, the charity which provides housing and care, says that people can look forward to benefitting from their high quality services for a long time yet.
Susan Napier said Bield remains one of the largest specialist providers of housing and care for older people and it will develop and grow for many years to come.
Speaking at the Edinburgh-based charity’s AGM, she said their new strategic direction will see Bield through the coming years and beyond into its 50th anniversary.
Susan said: “We will be here long into the future. We need to adapt, make changes and innovate.
“If we keep doing that, we will deliver housing and services that meet the needs of a growing ageing population in Scotland; supporting more people to live independent and fulfilling lives.”
Susan said while the new strategic direction has meant that tough and painful decisions surrounding the operation of the organisation have had to be made, they were the right thing to do.
She added: “Securing the long-term future of Bield was paramount and necessary for the many thousands of older people who live in our homes and use our services.
“One of our core strengths is our recognition that change is constant. In doing so, we have often led the way for others.
“Our new strategic direction is bold and ambitious and there is more change ahead. But where there is change, there are opportunities.”
Susan cited the example of Fleming Place which is a Bield development of 40 new ‘lifetime’ homes for the over 50s in Edinburgh, a city where affordable housing is in high demand from people who want to continue to live and work there.
The development provides the first showcase of Bield’s new strategy to be well positioned for the future – and which continues to provide innovative housing solutions fit for now and the future to address the needs of the next generation of older people.
Susan said: “The reaction from tenants precisely illustrates what we are trying to achieve and why we exist; that is to improve the quality of lives of older people. They are telling us their quality of life has changed since moving into Fleming Place.
“Going forward, we are also growing our new model of flexible home care and will pilot this service in a number of new locations.
“During the last year, we visited many of our developments, speaking to tenants and people who use our services to see first-hand the difference we make to older people. It’s what drives us forward – and what is what will continue to drive us forward.”
Susan also used the AGM to pay tribute to the work and devotion of staff as they overcame challenges associate with the changes and modernisations that happened over the past year.
Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas.