Awards Finalist – Catalyst Housing Group

Catalyst Housing

20 Years and Still Counting

O’Grady Court is a 62 unit sheltered housing scheme in West Ealing with residents from a wide variety of backgrounds speaking many different languages reflecting the demographic changes in West London. The project aims to increase mutual understanding and decrease social isolation by including activities that are not language based e.g. gardening (with young people from the local horticultural college) and cooking (with West London University’s catering department); as well as improving digital skills through ancestry research and digital photography.

Why we liked this project

We particularly liked the proactive use of non-language based activities to increase mutual understanding and improve social isolation as well as the ancestry and reminiscence sessions which facilitate sharing of memories and bring out common interests. Older people’s skills have been rekindled and new skills developed as well including language skills which have given some residents the confidence to join local language classes. The project has tangible outcomes (a reminiscence book and recipe book) and includes older tenants from outside the scheme as well as creating a ‘positive social environment’ and an ‘inclusive sense of community’. There is also an intergenerational element with the gardening and cooking activities.

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