The essential journalist news source
Vaccination joy for Essington retirement living community


                     Press Release

Ref: PRCP014                                                                                  Date: 16thMarch 2021

Vaccination joy for Essington retirement living community

A person smiling for the cameraDescription automatically generated with low confidence   A picture containing building, outdoor, house, curbDescription automatically generated

Hi-res image
Hi-res image 

Staff and residents at Cherry Tree Court, in Essington, have been speaking of their joy after a local surgery created a pop-up vaccination centre for its patients.

Two medical staff from the Essington Medical Centre  visited Cherry Tree Court, which is a retirement living community managed by Care Plus.  There, the communal lounge - currently closed during lockdown - was turned into a socially distanced vaccination facility benefiting almost 40 residents.

Retirement living manager KathSmoczkiewiczexplained that residents registered with the practice were telephoned by the surgery the previous day and offered an appointment.

"We set up ten chairs in the lounge, carefully positioning them to ensure social distancing. We operated a one-way system around the building and made sure that lift buttons, handles and touch points were cleaned to keep people safe," she explained.

Two of those taking advantage of the pop-up vaccination centre were husband and wife Phil and June.

"We jumped for joy when we got the call," said Phil, who has been using lockdown to brush-up his skills on the saxophone. "We felt really lucky to have the opportunity and didn't hesitate for a second.

"The past year has been hard for all of us. I'm one of seven and I haven't seen my family since last March. June has three children and she's been longing to be a granny. Last year her daughter gave birth to twin boys and June still hasn't had her first cuddle with the babies.

"The vaccination gives us hope for better times ahead. We can look forward to those special moments with our families and to the ‘everyday' times, too. We want to be able to go out for a coffee, have a pub lunch together and do all the things we used to enjoy."

Kath said that everyone receiving the vaccine shared Phil and June's happiness. "It was quite an emotional day, feeling that this is the start of better times for us all," she said.


Kath Smoczkiewicz looking forward to "Better times for us all".

Cherry Tree Court, setting for the pop-up vaccination facility



Background for editors

Care Plus specialises in housing and support for older people and those with physical or learning difficulties. Managing 53 retirement living communities across Staffordshire and Shropshire, Care Plus helps people to live independently in their own homes with support including 24:7 telecare response, wellbeing services and domiciliary care. 

The personal care service delivered by Care Plus has been assessed as Good in all areas by the Care Quality Commission. 

Care Plus is registered as a Charitable Community Benefit Society and is part of Housing Plus Group, a leading provider of quality, affordable homes and care services that customers can trust across Shropshire and Staffordshire.  Housing Plus Group members also include South Staffordshire Housing Association, Severnside Housing, Stafford and Rural Homes and Severn Homes.

Housing Plus Group is addressing the housing crisis by starting to build 2,000 new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale by 2023. The Group has pledged to deliver one-third more hours of care and support for older people in their own homes and to create apprenticeship opportunities for 100 people in the Group and its supply chain within five years.

Its members are inspired by the CLARITY values which are the foundations of its work: Communication, Learning, Accountable, Respectful, Inclusive, Trust and YOU.


Further information 

Mara Hargreaves  
Head of marketing and communications   
m:07800 619 863

Clare Chick 
Marketing and communications officer 
m: 07950 254 279  

Martin Farrow 
CHANGEWORKS Communications 
t:  + 44 (0) 1785 247588 
m: +44 (0)7771 970025