Abbeyfield’s Annett House celebrates its 40th anniversary

Annett House, a sheltered housing scheme in Hertfordshire, has commemorated its 40th anniversary with a party.

Residents of Annett House and the other homes run by Abbeyfield Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead Society ABHHS – St Mary’s House and Sibleys Orchard, both in Hemel Hempstead – joined together to celebrate the house’s ruby anniversary alongside trustees past and present and individuals that have enjoyed a relationship with the house over the years, including ex-Mayor Cllr. Gbola Adeleke, and others from the local area.

The house dates back to the early 1980s. Mrs Helen Johnson, a local resident, donated half of her garden to what was then the Abbeyfield Berkhamsted Society, and a grant from the Housing Corporation saw the construction of a new house that opened in 1983.

Residents are encouraged to build relationships with each other inside the house, and two home-cooked meals per day are enjoyed in the recently extended dining room, which now provides access to a landscaped garden. Residents are free to come and go as they please. Some travel into Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, enjoy one of the many local walks in the beautiful countryside, or join in with activities in the Village Hall located just opposite the house.

Annett House is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, who joined the anniversary celebrations.

Annett House now forms part of the worldwide Abbeyfield movement. Abbeyfield’s care homes, sheltered housing schemes, and independent living complexes, which are home to 6,000 residents, operate with an ethos of companionship – in order to combat loneliness in later life – and community, with strong individual and collective links to the local neighbourhood encouraged.

Trustee of 35 years, Christine Hopcraft, said: “It was a great pleasure to celebrate this very special occasion together with residents, staff, volunteers, friends, neighbours, and local dignitaries.

“We are all very proud to be a part of our very successful ABHHS, providing quality services to our residents through dedicated staff and volunteers, making Annett House is a special place in our vibrant community.”

Sheltered housing manager Anna Walsh added: “The party was a huge success due to the hard work of all the staff and volunteers. Everyone enjoyed themselves; the food and entertainment were great.

“It had such a sense of family and community with the staff, residents and families, local residents, friends, and volunteers of Annett House past and present.”

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