Blackwood, which currently has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling, sees the launch of its new premises as a pivotal step to provide its service users with enhanced care and housing.
The move represents a significant investment by the housing and care provider and will create a number of new jobs in Dundee. The expanding Tayside team will move into the Claverhouse office in early November.
The expansion comes as part of Blackwood’s five year Business Plan and the new Tayside office’s main focus will be to grow their Care at Home business using their own branded smart technology to help those with disabilities live their lives to the full.
Since it was launched 40 years ago, Blackwood has built an impressive reputation for its expertise in adapting properties to let people with disabilities, sensory impairments and age-related conditions to live as independently as possible.
The ambitious charity’s latest innovative project was revealed at its annual exhibition in September, when it constructed a full scale replica of its dynamic concept house in 24 hours. A washing machine that washes, dries and irons clothes, a ‘rise and fall’ kitchen and a spoon that doesn’t spill were just some of the cutting-edge inventions on display.
Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive at Blackwood, said: “We always strive to be at the forefront of the latest innovations and technologies, and expanding in Dundee will allow us to continue to improve and enhance the lives of those we work with. It’s great to see the organisation come full circle, as the first Blackwood property was opened by the Queen Mother at Blackwood Court, Dundee in 1976.
“People are at the heart of what we do, and it’s only with the dedication of our own team that we can deliver value and quality to our customers – so having the opportunity to create jobs is particularly exciting for us.
“This investment is also particularly important to us as Dundee is the location where we will be launching our highly accessible concept house next year, so having a dedicated team in this city is essential to this and other future pioneering projects.
“We very much pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the housing and care sector, but to remain there it’s vital that we continue to grow and develop in order to listen to the ever evolving needs of our service-users and help shape our future.”
John Robertson, Landlord at Struan Motors Ltd who is letting the premises to Blackwood, said: “Struans recognise that Blackwood adds real value to many individuals and the community through the services it provides.
“It’s the work of Blackwood, delivered with professionalism and friendliness, which often provides the platform for individual progress and leads to a better community.
“Struans are delighted and proud that Blackwood has taken occupation of our office in Dundee and we wish them a very successful future.”
Blackwood is a registered charity, with its headquarters in Edinburgh, though it operates in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas, making it one of the country’s most widely dispersed care and housing experts.
Its new five year business strategy has seen it set aside £13.9m for housing investment, £2.3m for staffing needs and also funded an extra £1.2m into its care provision. It also has plans to ensure affordable rents for all service users while increasing tenant satisfaction in line with the Scottish Social Housing Charter.
Another crucial element in delivering change will see the charity expanding its services and footprint in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow as key cities to boost its five-star rated care services.
Established by Dr Margaret Blackwood in 1972, Blackwood now has 400 staff and manages 1600 properties across Scotland and full details of its services are atwww.blackwoodgroup.org.uk.