- Grant giving charitable trust donates HQ building to ADSS
- Kent’s largest dementia charity has been based at Safeharbour since 2017
- Works planned for 2023 include a replacement roof and dementia-friendly garden
8th August 2023, Gravesend – ADSS, Kent’s biggest independent charity dedicated to providing support to people affected by dementia, is delighted to announce that The Albert Hunt Trust (“the Trust”), a grant giving charitable trust that supports local charities throughout the UK, has donated the Safeharbour Memory Wellbeing Centre to the charity.
ADSS has been based at Safeharbour, on Coldharbour Lane in Gravesend, since 2017. In 2019 the Trust provided ADSS with a loan to acquire the building from Kent County Council (KCC). Since that time ADSS has operated from the building, which is home to a Day Care Centre, community groups and activities, as well as ADSS’s staff and operations.
“We are so, so grateful for this enormously generous donation from the Albert Hunt Trust,” said Katie Antill, CEO of ADSS, “People living with dementia need us more than ever and the generosity of the Albert Hunt Trust will ensure our sustainability and security. It has been a long-held ambition of ADSS to own its own premises.”
Safeharbour was previously owned by KCC, which rented the building to various charities, prior to ADSS’s tenancy in 2017. The following year, the council approached ADSS regarding ownership of the building, and the Albert Hunt Trust agreed to loan the charity the money needed to purchase the building.
ADSS became the owner in September 2019, with the Trust making a generous loan arrangement, asking the charity only to pay interest on the loan over 25 years. However, the Trust – which recently made a commitment to spend its entire resources by 2029 – has now decided to write off the loan to ADSS, in effect gifting the charity the building.
‘’The ownership of Safeharbour has enabled ADSS to secure and expand their service provision for the long term. It has been a privilege to partner with ADSS and see the difference the charity has made and continues to make to support people affected by dementia ,” said Breda McGuire, Chair of Trustees of the Albert Hunt Trust: “With a commitment to spend down the trust the decision was made to write off the loan, entrusting ADSS to continue their valuable work.”
Since becoming tenants of Safeharbour in 2017, ADSS has been working hard to convert the space into a nurturing environment that caters to the specific needs of those living with dementia, as well as staff and volunteers. The facilities are accessible, safe, and promote the physical and emotional well-being of everyone who uses them. In turn, ownership of Safeharbour has helped ADSS bolster its financial security and has allowed the Charity to invest in the maintenance and development of the building.
Despite this, there is still a significant amount of work required. In 2023, a new roof is being installed, replacing the existing flat roof that is many years past its best and has started to leak. After this, a complete renovation of the garden is planned, creating a dementia-friendly space that will allow the people who we support to spend more time outside, engaging in a greater variety of activities. In total, ADSS expects to spend more than £150,000 on Safeharbour in 2023, and is actively seeking donations to support this work.
“On behalf of everyone here at ADSS, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the enormous contribution and support that the Albert Hunt Trust has provided,” said Sam Barton, Chair of the Board of Trustees of ADSS. “The acquisition of our building marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards empowering people affected by dementia to live the lives they want, in their community and with their families.”