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Wisbech SW Smedley's Charitable Trust is set to offer 10 new flats for older people in need in the town



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An open day next weekend (25) will show case 10 new flats built by a local charitable trust for older people in Wisbech.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617132)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617132)

The flats in Cannon Street have been built by the SW Smedley Charitable Trust and will be ready to move into in early autumn.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617136)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617136)

David Salmon, chairman of the trustees, explained: "We have probably spent the best part of £2million and now we want to stir up some interest from local people to occupy the flats, which are ideal for older, single people."

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of factory owner Samuel Wallace Smedley, is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617138)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust, which was set up in memory of factory owner Samuel Wallace Smedley, is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617138)

The charitable trust was set up with money left by factory owner Samuel Wallace Smedley, who set up Smedley's fruit canning business in Wisbech in 1925, which was later relaunched as a public company, the National Canning Company Ltd.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617122)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617122)

After he retired from the National Canning Company Samuel went on holiday to Cyprus, where he spotted a new business opportunity. He bought land and set up the Smedley Cyprus Canning Company in Limassol.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617134)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617134)

After his death in Cyprus the Cypriot company was sold but it took some years for the money to reach England and provide funds for the SW Smedley Charitable Trust.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617125)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617125)

The first flats were built in Cannon Street in 1968 and in 1977 further land was bought and three bungalows were built near the flats. The trust also owns properties in other towns.

In 2005 the properties were renovated and a garden room was added.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. The flats are modern and offer open plan kitchen/lounge, bathroom and bedroom.(3617128)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. The flats are modern and offer open plan kitchen/lounge, bathroom and bedroom.(3617128)

These latest flats have been built in two phases on land where the bungalows once stood. The first phase saw four built and occupied five years ago and then this latest phase has seen 10 more built.

The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617125)
The SW Smedley Charitable Trust is in the final stages of building 10 new flats for older people in need in Wisbech. (3617125)

In all there are now 30 flats in Cannon Street and David explained they were originally built mainly for former factory workers in need in their old age.

Smedley's has been closed for some time and so the flats are now open to pensioners who are either in financial or social need.

They are warden controlled and are one of the few such developments in the area that still has a live-in warden. Debby Biggs has filled the role for the past 10 years.

With the new flats David said the trust is taking on a part-time assistant to help Debby, who provides support for the residents.

Debby said: "There is more and more need for places like this with an ageing population and with families not always living close. This is a lovely little community. Everyone is friendly. They all do their own thing, but we also have coffee mornings so people can get together if they want to."

Next Saturday's open day is from 10am to 2pm when people interested in the flats are welcome to go along and have a look and find out more.

Application forms will be available on the day, the trustees will make the final decision on the allocation of the flats.

David said: "We will look at all the factors, including whether we think a person will fit into the community here. Those who are not successful will be able to go on a waiting list as we do have a turnover of residents for obvious reasons."

For further details contact Debby on 01945 583947 or simply turn up on Saturday August 25.



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