Boot manufacturer’s almshouses polished up for the future

By Aug 04, 2015

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Almshouses founded by a Pudsey boot and shoe manufacture in 1898 and untouched since the 1970s undergo a large-scale refurbishment. Plenty cause for a garden party.

The Robert Salter Almshouses’ oldest resident, and guest at its celebratory garden party, Violetta Nelson, aged 97, unveiled a plaque to mark the refurbishment of the almshouses. The event was attended by residents and trustees, local MP Stuart Andrew, John Broughton, a member of the Almshouse Association and staff from Care & Repair, a Leeds-based home improvement agency.

Dating back to 1898, the Robert Salter Almshouses were established by Pudsey boot and shoe manufacturer Robert Salter. Thanks to his bequest over a century ago, and a further bequest by his granddaughter in 1960, seven almshouses now provide homes to people over 65 in Pudsey near Leeds.

"It was 25 years since our last refurbishment and the houses are 110 years old. It was a proud moment to see our eldest resident, Violetta, aged 97, unveil a plaque to mark this day."

Arthur Giles, Chairman, Robert Salter Almshouses, ​

Untouched since the 1970s, the homes were in serious need of refurbishment to meet the needs of their elderly residents. A lack of kitchen storage space and stiff taps, bathrooms without support for limited mobility and old boilers were all challenges the new refurbishment has met.

A £50,000 loan from ethical bank, Charity Bank, was used to help the Robert Salter Almshouses refurbish its seven properties. Leeds-based home improvement agency Care & Repair assisted with the design and project management process. Its Warm Homes Service helped install new boilers and contributed to their cost.

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Arthur Giles, Chairman, Robert Salter Almshouses and Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank regional manager, beside commemorative plaques marking the building and refurbishment of the Robert Salter Almshouses.

Jeremy Ince, Charity Bank regional manager, says: “The Robert Salter Almshouses have a huge impact on the quality of life of their residents thanks to volunteers and trustees who are passionate about providing a small and friendly place for older people to live. This new refurbishment is testament to their dedication.”

Arthur Giles, Chairman of Robert Salter Almshouses, says: “We are always keen to make sure our residents are doing well and that we are doing the best we can by them. Trustees visit residents regularly and provide friendship, help and support. We also organise a Christmas meal and provide help with odd jobs.

It was 25 years since our last refurbishment and the houses are 110 years old. After making significant improvements we felt it was a good time to celebrate again. It was a proud moment to see our eldest resident, a lady aged 97, unveil a plaque to mark this day.”