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New path paves the way for safer retirement living in National Falls Awareness Week 2015

17 June 2015

Falls Awareness Footpath
Hanover Gardens residents try out the new footpath. From left: Nancy McCarthy, Ann Fulcher and Joan Gale

As a housing provider for people aged over 55, Hanover Housing Association’s main role is to provide somewhere to live that is affordable, comfortable and safe.

That extends to minimising the potential for falls – something that is a common risk, especially among the older and, sometimes, less physically able people that Hanover houses.

Now, an innovative new footpath created to improve the health, safety and well-being of Hanover Housing Association residents in Bracknell has been hailed a success in this, National Falls Awareness Week (15-21 June).

For several years the paths at Hanover Gardens in Bracknell have required regular maintenance. Residents were exposed to a number of trip hazards caused by roots from mature trees in the garden.

Following extensive research, Hanover’s housing and technical teams, led by Adrian Green and Diane Browne, decided to replace the paths with a resin-based substance called Addastone.

Addastone is an epoxy-based resin mixed together with stone or gravel to create a consistency similar to rice cakes. After an activator is added it is then laid in the foundation before it sets.

The resin-based material is more flexible than concrete and less likely to crack. Secondly, unlike tarmac it will not melt in hot weather. The substance is also self draining, so in the winter water will not sit on the surface to cause ice.

Adrian Green, Technical Manager for Hanover says: ‘The original idea for the pathway was inspired by an Aston Martin forecourt and a walkway on Brighton beach. After considering various options, including tarmac and concrete, we felt that the resin was the only option that would make the estate a safer and more desirable place to live.’

As an added bonus the new paths are saving an average of £400 a month in repairs, allowing Hanover to free up the funds to carry out other repairs and improvements at the estate.

Housing Manager Diane Browne adds: ‘The new pathway is safer, looks stunning and now residents are spending more time in the garden. One of our residents has even created an area within the garden to grow fruit and vegetables.’