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Ethical loans support Yorkshire dementia care

Ethical funders Unity Trust Bank and Charity Bank have joined forces to provide loans totalling £8.5m to enable charity Abbeyfield The Dales to purchase the award-winning Fern House, a 30-room dementia care home in Bingley in Yorkshire.

Fern House won the residential category at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards in 2018. The home provides independent living with extra care, as well as providing a space that the community can enjoy. The shared facilities include a kiosk shop, restaurant, laundry, resident’s lounge, sun lounge, hair and beauty salon and a hobbies room.

Abbeyfield The Dales is dedicated to making the lives of older people easier and more fulfilling. The purchase means they can now cater for up to 100 residents at any one time, across the 30-room care home and 49 flats.

Abbeyfield The Dales was able to complete the purchase thanks to loans of £4.7 million from Unity Trust Bank and £3.8 million from Charity Bank. The loans also enabled the housing association to consolidate other debts.

Philip Birkinshaw, Chief Executive of Abbeyfield The Dales, said:

We’ve run Fern House since it opened in 2017 and it has always been our intention to buy it outright, so we’re really pleased to have been able to complete this purchase. Charity Bank and Unity Trust Bank align with our values and understand what we want to achieve as an organisation, so were an obvious choice for finance providers. Our priority is ensuring our residents have the support they need to maintain their dignity and enjoy a fulfilling life. Taking on the ownership of Fern House will help us to do that.

Margaret Porter, Relationship Manager at Unity Trust Bank, said:

Unity Trust Bank helps organisations to prosper and contribute to economic, community and environmental change. We were pleased to be able to assist Abbeyfield The Dales in the purchase of Fern House, which will continue to provide vital care for people living with dementia and alleviate social isolation in the local community.

Jeremy Ince, Regional Manager at Charity Bank, added:

Charity Bank was founded to support charities and social enterprises through ethical loans, so we were delighted when Abbeyfield The Dales approached us. Dementia can be a frightening, lonely condition, but when I visited Fern House I could see what a difference specialist care can make. Fern House is more than just a care home – it’s a community.

 Photo: Fern House, Abbeyfield The Dales