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One lucky pupil at St John’s Church of England Primary School in Essington, South Staffordshire had a happy surprise in assembly recently as it was announced she is the winner of a competition to find a name for a new housing development.

The children from St John’s were given the challenge by Care Plus, the new care and support division of leading West Midlands-based housing organisation Housing Plus, to think of a name for its forthcoming purpose-built, independent living scheme for the over 55s in Essington. The children were asked to think of a name which fitted a number of criteria including being appealing to the older generation, memorable, positive and something that would be timeless. The competition was popular amongst the children, with 11 finalists.

The winner was 9 year-old Isabelle Griffiths from Year 4. She suggested the name ‘Cherry Tree Court’ as the development is surrounded by cherry trees. The challenge was organised with the school to encourage the children to think about the wider community and feel part of the nearby development. Isabelle was congratulated and thanked by Debbie Griffiths, Chief Executive of Housing Plus who comments “We take our role in the communities we build in very seriously and always strive to forge closer relationships with local schools. We believe involving the local primary school is an excellent way to name one of our most anticipated developments as well as being fun for the children involved.

“Following feedback from the local community and a local housing needs survey, we know that there is a need for affordable housing in Essington which this new development will fulfil for both rent and part rent, part buy. We are delighted with the choice of name which will last for years to come.”

Care Plus is building 66 high quality one and two bedroomed independent apartments with flexible care in Essington which are due to be completed in March 2011. In addition, there will be 35 two-bedroomed houses, 9 of which will be available for part rent, part buy and the remaining available for rent

Cherry Tree Court in Essington will be Care Plus’ second independent living scheme in South Staffordshire. Each of the 66 apartments will be fitted with a call system in case of emergencies and there will be 24-hour staff on call, offering a peace of mind to residents and their families. Residents can also draw on a range of flexible care and support services.

For more information call about Care Plus call 01785 312000 or visit www.care-plus.org.uk.

Headteacher Mr Stuart Ayers with winner Isabelle Griffiths (aged 7) and Debbie G