Families in shock as 24 residents in a supported living complex in Cheltenham told to move out

  • Families of residents being cared for in a supported living facility told ITV News they are feeling very unsettled

Families of residents being cared for in a supported living facility have said they're in shock after being told they only have a couple of months to find them somewhere else to live.

Shaftesbury Place in Cheltenham, which is managed by Sanctuary Supported Living, will close at the end of April because the housing association says it is no longer up to modern standards.

Many of its residents have severe disabilities and complex needs and some have been living in the complex for almost a decade.

Angela Kelly has been living at Shaftesbury Place for eight years and has been told she needs to find somewhere else to live by April 21.

Angela Kelly

Ms Kelly's mother, Angella Kelly, said: “It makes her feel unsafe, unloved, and she thinks she has done something wrong.

“She is also very frightened, because she doesn't like change. She has been moved many times in her life. It's been brutal, both for her and ourselves.”

Ashley Smith suffers from cerebral palsy. Like Angela, he needs specialist care which he has been receiving at Shaftesbury Place.

Mr Smith’s mother, Nadia Smith, said: “He’s been very, very emotional. He has called us over and over again for days after the initial statement was given to us and we have had to do a lot of comforting, a lot of reassuring, although we’re not sure ourselves what the outcome will be.”

Ashley Smith

Mr Smith’s father, Roger Smith, said: “The whole situation is that a caring wonderful community has been tipped on its head, like when you dig up an ant’s hill and they just run around in chaos. It has devastated a wonderful loving environment.”

Sanctuary Supported Living said they understand that the closure will be unsettling for residents but explained the building no longer has the kind of facilities and layout that is now expected.

In a statement, Sanctuary Supported Living said: “If needed, we will extend the notice period to find the residents the right homes. We are absolutely committed to ensuring the moves are handled sensitively and respectfully.”

In a statement, Gloucestershire County Council said: “We are disappointed that the providers have taken the decision to close Shaftesbury Place.

“We are working with all families impacted by this decision to ensure they are supported to find alternative accommodation.”