Abbeyfield Ellesmere formal opening on 10 February 2018

 Voluntary efforts spanning more than a decade culminate in the formal opening of Abbeyfield House in Leeston on 10 February 2018. Providing family style accommodation for up to 14 residents, each with their own private studio, the House is the latest Abbeyfield House to reach completion, thanks to committed volunteers and the generous support of Rata Foundation, Housing New Zealand, Selwyn District Council, Ellesmere Lions, Ellesmere Vintage Club and countless local benefactors. The house cost $2.6 million to establish, and is projected to provide a home to hundreds of local retirees over its lifetime. 

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported this Abbeyfield House for the many older people who want to continue to live in the Ellesmere district but just need a little extra support and company to continue living active lives,” says Abbeyfield Ellesmere chairman Murray Stephens. 

“We especially want to thank our Abbeyfield Companions of Ellesmere (ACE) fundraising group who from small beginnings have raised a substantial amount of money, supported of course by our wonderful community.”
The housekeeper provides all food, including two cooked meals a day and general support. This proven housing model offers companionship, support and security for residents, and is made possible through the work of volunteer management committees. 

Residents pay an all-inclusive rent which is affordable if their only income is National Superannuation. Abbeyfield is not a healthcare provider per se – residents are mobile and supported to remain active members of the community. 

“We heartily congratulate Abbeyfield Ellesmere on the opening of this beautiful house. It is a fine example of what dedicated people who care about their community can achieve, and is a true asset for the district,” comments Abbeyfield NZ Executive Officer Susan Jenkins. 

Abbeyfield House will be formally opened by Selwyn MP Hon. Amy Adams at 2.30 pm on Saturday 10 February. Attendance by invitation. 

1. With the opening of the house in Flannery St Leeston, there are now 13 Abbeyfield Houses in New Zealand, all operated by local volunteer committees affiliated to Abbeyfield New Zealand Incorporated, a registered charity. This successfully adapted international model has a proven operational record over 25 years in New Zealand, 61 years internationally. Once built, an Abbeyfield House is self-sustaining, thanks to volunteer management. 

2. Abbeyfield Houses have been established in Stoke, Nelson (1994), Masterton (1996), Whangarei (2001), Motueka (2002), Hamilton (2005), Auckland and Golden Bay (2006), Dunedin and Wakatipu (2007) Palmerston North (2008), Tahunanui, Nelson (2010), and Christchurch (2015). Further houses are in the planning stage. 

3. Abbeyfield is a voluntary effort by people of goodwill to assist older people to achieve a fulfilling way of life. Abbeyfield believes: 
o That many older people suffer from loneliness and insecurity;
o The older people have an important role to play in the lives of their families, friends and communities
o Within each community, individuals can work together to help older people have a secure and comfortable life with the companionship of a small household. 

4. Media representatives are welcome at the opening, but please contact Murray Stephens for planning purposes. Attendance at the opening is by invitation for the general public. 

For further information: 
Murray Stephens
Chairman, Abbeyfield Ellesmere
03 329 1898 | 027 221 6189

Susan Jenkins
Executive Officer, Abbeyfield New Zealand Inc
03 546 6459 | 021 031 6199



Abbeyfield New Zealand
Level One,
40 Halifax Street

PO Box 482
Nelson 7040
New Zealand
P: +64 3 546 6459
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