A family home fit for the future – Heather and Owen’s story

Heather and her partner Owen were excited at the prospect of becoming first time parents, but although living at their family home in Perth was a good short-term solution, they needed more space to accommodate their growing family.

The couple approached The Gannochy Trust back in August 2019 and their timing was perfect.  The Trust had recently added a 48-home extension to their original estate, which included three bed houses with spacious, open plan living spaces and large gardens, perfectly suited to young families.  In February 2020, Heather and her family were offered a house on Camilla Bell Crescent just before the birth of their son Alfie.

Heather said: “We now have a fit for purpose home with a big garden for Alfie to run and play in.  The open plan set up is perfect for us because we can always keep a close eye on him.  We also get lots of fresh air in the house which is healthy for the whole family.”

Houses such as the Heather and Owen’s have been designed by The Gannochy Trust to be ‘homes for life.’  This means they have the flexibility to adapt to a tenant’s needs as they change over time. This is especially important for elderly people dealing with the challenges of aging, people with disabilities who often have complex needs, as well as families who need the space to grow.

Heather said: “The Gannochy Trust are open and transparent that if families want to stay within the estate, there are options.  If we feel like growing our family, then we know we can look at bigger houses or adapt the rooms here to have more children.  This means we don’t need to worry about the future.”

The Gannochy Trust’s founder A.K Bell, was a great believer in creating healthy homes within a thriving community and this design philosophy has influenced the new homes.  The sitooteries – south facing outdoor areas with seating and cover – the central communal space and the position of the houses, all encourage connectedness between tenants. This is important for young families such as Heather, Owen and their young son Alfie, who have already benefited from the support of their neighbours.

Heather said: “When we arrived at the start of the Covid pandemic, we really felt the community pull together around us.  They make you feel like you are part of something positive.  The Gannochy Trust have created a good community atmosphere, where it’s not just about the house.  There’s a lot else going on.  Being part of a community like this has been fantastic for us.”

Providing housing for people with a variety of different needs is central to what The Gannochy Trust are trying to achieve.  The development is about creating homes that people want to live in free of the uncertainty of what the future may bring.  For Heather, Owen and Alfie, this means that they can get on with doing what they do best – being a family.