Everyone at C24 would like to congratulate MHA on their 70th year of operation it is a real achievement and was celebrated yesterday with a thanksgiving service and Coventry Cathedral.
A brief history of MHA
In the face of wartime restrictions and at a time when the only option for many older people was to live out the end of their lives in the workhouse, the Methodist Conference founded a driven and influential committee to provide new homes for vulnerable older people. With Revd Walter Hall as Secretary, Mrs Hilda Bartlett Lang as Treasurer and Sir George Martin as Chairman, Methodist Homes (MHA) came into being in 1943.
In 1945, prior to the Welfare State, MHA’s first home, Ryelands in Wallington, was opened. MHA’s commitment to improve the lives of older people was continued with a further six homes by the end of 1950. Even at that time, MHA can claim to have set high standards, with an innovative focus on the individual and a rare offering of private rooms.
During the 1970s, there was growing recognition that many older people wished to retain their independence but felt unable to look after their own home. The concept of “sheltered housing”, backed by Government funding, led in 1977 to MHA founding a Housing Association to develop such properties, extending its geographical reach into Scotland with St Andrew’s Court in 1981.
By 1988, MHA’s desire to extend support for older people further into local communities and ward off isolation was met in the shape of the first Live at Home Scheme, Lichfield & District, in Staffordshire. Research was showing that older people wished to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and MHA’s Live at Home was established to enhance quality of life by providing opportunities for friendship, outings, places to go and people to see.
The late eighties saw the development of MHA’s specialist expertise in pioneering a person-centred approach to dementia care at Westbury Grange in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire and in 1989, the opening of our first nursing care home, Trembaths in Letchworth, Hertfordshire to meet higher level individual needs and extend the range of quality care available.
At the start of the new millennium, Norah Bellot Court was opened in Barnstaple, forging the way for MHA’s development of retirement living for older people with on-site care, catering and other support services.
“I have great pleasure in once again supporting the work of MHA. Everyone involved does an amazing job and I thank you all for your dedication. Congratulations on your 70th Anniversary.”
– Dame Judi Dench
Once again congratulation from C24 to a truly superb organisation.