Joan Toward, a grandmother of 15 from Scotswood, has become our 500th tenant after moving into Kilbourn House in Kenton.

Claire Rabbetts and Bill Midgley celebrate with our 500th tenant, Joan Toward

Claire Rabbetts and Bill Midgley celebrate with our 500th tenant, Joan Toward

Mrs Toward, who is 87, was brought up in Scotswood and later moved to Westerhope . Until recently, she was living at Bamburgh House, a sheltered housing block managed by Your Homes Newcastle, before moving to Kilbourn House, one of our newest extra care schemes, which is also managed by YHN.

She was presented with some flowers and a celebratory cake by Bill Midgley, Chair of Leazes Homes, and Claire Rabbetts, our tenant trustee and was joined by her two daughters, Eileen and Angela, and her youngest great grandchild, Zack. Fellow residents of Kilbourn House also joined in the celebration with a tea party in the lounge, featuring a wide variety of delicious cakes.

Bill Midgley said: “It’s been brilliant to meet our 500th tenant, Joan, today and to talk to her about her life – she has so many connections to this amazing city and she has lived in a lot of social housing, so it’s really interesting to hear about her experiences.

“This is a fantastic milestone for Leazes Homes. We started out as a charitable subsidiary of Your Homes Newcastle in 2009 and then became fully autonomous in 2012 and we’ve been going from strength to strength since our inception.

“Kilbourn House is a great example of how our properties can help individuals and our communities – not only is it a lovely place to live, with beautiful flats and excellent community spaces, but it also helps older people to live independently for as long as possible, which makes their lives more fulfilling while at the same time reducing the need for residential care and health service costs.

“We are proud to provide quality housing for those who need it across Newcastle and we offer a range of supported accommodation in addition to general, affordable family housing. We’ll be launching our next extra care scheme, Lawson House in Byker, soon and look forward meeting more housing need into 2017 with the completion of sites in Throckley and Dinnington, as well as offering some shared ownership properties for people with disabilities in Blakelaw .

“I’m sure we’ll be celebrating our next tenant milestone in no time!”

Joan Toward with daughters Angela and Eileen and great grandson Zack

Joan Toward with daughters Angela and Eileen and great grandson Zack

Joan is one of seven and had seven children herself, she has fifteen grandchildren and a tenth great grandchild on the way. She has worked in various jobs in numerous areas of the city and was a keen dancer in her younger days.

She said: “I moved here a couple of months ago and I really like it, my flat is beautiful and I brought all of my own furniture. I come down to the lounge to play bingo and for a picture show occasionally and it’s useful having the communal space for when the family visits.

“It’s a very welcoming place and I enjoy living here, I was very happy to receive the gorgeous flowers too!”

Any queries regarding accommodation at Kilbourn House or any other extra care developments owned by Leazes Homes, please contact Your Homes Newcastle’s sheltered housing team on 0191 278 8585 or via