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Ann Charlton Lodge, a new 24-bed Residential Care Home for MS Sufferers


Ann Charlton LodgeAnn Charlton Lodge interior


Having been diagnosed as suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Ann Charlton founded the East Cleveland branch of the MS Group but she soon realised the need for a long-term residential care home for MS sufferers


Initial design work on this project began in 1988 commissioned by a partnership between the Phoenix Housing Association and Ann’s registered charity. Several prospective residents with MS were identified at an early stage and they were deeply involved throughout the design development. Based on original concept sketches by Malcolm Cundick, Phil Newbold, Senior Architectural Technician at Wilson & Womersley, Chartered Architects, managed the consultation, detailed design and construction phases of this £1.2m project. It was completed in December 1991, opened to residents in January 1992 and officially opened in August 1992 by Paul Daniels


This unique project provided the first residential care home for MS sufferers in the UK, combining 25 spacious, en-suite rooms for wheelchair users with generous circulation areas and specialised facilities and equipment to enable the 60 staff to meet all the residents’ needs. The building comprises four six-bedroomed wings linked to a large central lounge / dining hall. All rooms have views of the extensively landscaped gardens, designed by Chelsea Award-winning Landscape Architect, John Elm and easy access to conservatories, a quiet room, a hair salon and a fitness suite. There is a guest bedroom, an on-site laundry and all meals are prepared in the kitchen

A recent visit found that the home has been fully occupied since opening nearly 20 years ago and very little has changed apart from the maturing of the garden planting and some renewal of floor finishes. This building was designed and built four years before the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and the fact that no significant changes have been made to the building is a testament to the quality of the original accessible design and has led to Phil Newbold’s extensive and rewarding career designing buildings for people with disabilites


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