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GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

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GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
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We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
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By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

And receieve regular updates and information about the development, as well as invitations to viewings, tours and launch events.

I am enquiring on behalf of
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
We would also like to keep you up to date with other news and information about St Monica Trust. You can opt out at any time and we never pass your data on to 3rd parties. Tick if you are happy for us to contact you by the options below:
Myself / ourselvesRelative(s) / friend(s)
By registering my interest I wish to receive relevant marketing material.

GENERAL ENQUIRIES

For questions regarding the development, plans, apartment availability, and any other enquiries, email:

info@thechocolatequarter.net

Head office

Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, BS9 3UN

0117 949 4000

Find Cote Lane on Google Maps

Press Enquiries

0117 949 4004

Chocolate tasting event

Fancy a taste of Somerdale’s history?

The Trust’s sales team would like to invite you to an exclusive chocolate tasting event and tour around The Chocolate Quarter’s show home and marketing suite.

Our two chocolatiers, Hugh Evans and Mike Burt will be on hand to tempt you with a selection of the very finest milk and dark chocolate. Visitors will be asked to identify the ingredients of the different chocolates, but be careful – one of them has a sting in the tail!

Hugh and Mike will be joined by Fry’s archivist, Alan Hillman who will host an Easter-themed exhibition of items charting the history of the Somerdale Factory. These three gentlemen have more than sixty years’ experience of working for Cadbury’s and will be delighted to answer any questions you might have.

The event will take place at the Somerdale Pavilion on Tuesday, 11 April from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.

To book your place or for more information, please call the sales team on 0117 949 4004 or email sales.tcq@stmonicatrust.org.uk

Over 40 per cent now sold

Apartments at The Chocolate Quarter are selling very fast.

With over 40 per cent of all the apartments sold in the first two months it has been our most popular development ever!

Reservees love the combination of quality apartments, country views and access to transport, as well as the activities and social life. To find out the latest availability head to our show home and marketing suite.

A slice of retirement living

Prospective buyers offered a slice of retirement living.

Prospective buyers were offered a slice of retirement living at the opening The Chocolate Quarter’s show home and marketing suite.

Weighing in at an impressive 20kg, the cake was made to celebrate the opening of The Chocolate Quarter’s new show home and marketing suite at the site of the former Cadbury’s factory in Keynsham.

30 per cent of apartments reserved

With 30 per cent of the retirement community’s luxury apartments already reserved off-plan in the first week, the real Chocolate Quarter is proving to be just as popular its cake.

Said St Monica Trust’s Sales Manager, Jill Whittaker: “The response to the development has exceeded our expectations with customers coming from as far away as southern France to make a reservation.

“We had more than two hundred and fifty people attend our opening presentations and The Chocolate Quarter cake went down very well. The St Monica Trust is renowned for its award-winning cuisine and we wanted to give everyone a taste of what they can expect.

63 eggs, 10.5 kg of sugar and 5 kg of chocolate

The Chocolate Quarter cake was created by Chef Manager, Sophie Ball who runs her own cake making business from her home in Hanham.

The recipe for Sophie’s cake, included 63 eggs, 10.5 kg of sugar, 6 kg of flour, 5 kg of chocolate and 3.5 kg of butter and took her 30 hours to decorate.

Sophie said: “It was definitely the most difficult cake I’ve ever made. The detailing on the three buildings was the hardest bit to do, especially trying to fit all the windows in.”

“It had to be large enough for 200 servings, so the sheer size of the cake was also very challenging – particularly getting it out of the car and into the Somerdale Pavilion in one piece.”

Opening summer 2017

Due to open in summer 2017, The Chocolate Quarter will be home to 136 retirement apartments and a 93-bed care home, as well as office space, retail outlets and leisure facilities for the local community, including a 50 seat cinema, swimming pool, dance studio and pizza restaurant with a wood-fired oven.

Said Jill Whittaker: “Members of our sales team will now be based at The Chocolate Quarter’s show home until the development opens in summer 2017. Although, we can’t guarantee everyone a slice of cake, we can guarantee visitors a friendly welcome and some complimentary handcrafted chocolates.”

The Chocolate Quarter’s show home and marketing suite is open on weekdays from 10.00am to 4.00pm and 11.00am to 2.00pm on weekends.

If you would like more information about The Chocolate Quarter call 0117 949 4004 or email sales.tcq@stmonicatrust.org.uk.

This market town ain’t big enough for the both of us

The High Sheriffs of Bristol and Somerset ride into Keynsham for topping out ceremony at £60 million retirement community.

The topping out ceremony at The Chocolate Quarter will mark the highest point in the redevelopment of the former Cadbury’s factory by Bristol-based charity, the St Monica Trust.

Due to open in summer 2017, The Chocolate Quarter will be home to 136 stylish apartments and a 93-bed care home, as well as office space, retail outlets and leisure facilities for the local community, including a 50 seat cinema, swimming pool, dance studio and pizza restaurant with a wood-fired oven.

Two High Sheriffs

The High Sheriff of Bristol, Ms Helen Wilde and the High Sheriff of Somerset, Edward Bayntun-Coward will gather on the roof of the Brookmead building to fit a specially engraved ‘top hat’ to a gas flue 85 feet above ground level.

Said St Monica Trust’s Chief Executive, David Williams: “While the Trust has been a part of life in Bristol since 1925, The Chocolate Quarter represents our first foray into Bath and North East Somerset, so we’re delighted to welcome the respective sheriffs for both counties.”

High Sheriff of Bristol, Ms Helen Wilde, said: “It’s fascinating to see the progress of the build and the speed at which the retirement community is taking shape. I’m sure that the wide range of facilities that will be available at The Chocolate Quarter will be of great benefit to the communities of both Bristol and Bath and North East Somerset.”

Formerly known as Block B, the Brookmead building was once the centre of production for Cadbury’s Caramel and Mini Eggs at the factory and will now house a specialist nursing care home and retirement apartments. Planning permission for the eight additional apartments which make up the sixth floor of The Chocolate Quarter was approved unanimously by councillors in April of this year.

Open summer 2017

The Chocolate Quarter’s marketing suite and show home will open at the beginning of October. Apartments will be a mixture of one and two-bedroomed properties and prices will start at around £240,000.

The tradition of the topping out ceremony stems from the Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree atop a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits disturbed by its construction.

If you would like more information about The Chocolate Quarter call 0117 949 4004 or email info@thechocolatequarter.org.uk. You can also request information here. 

Award Winning

Two St Monica Trust colleagues have been recognised for their outstanding work in the care industry at this year’s Care and Support West Awards.

Senior Care and Support Worker, Josie Sawyer and Activities Coordinator, Malcolm Baker took home the End of Life Care and Ancillary Support Front Line Worker awards, respectively.

The Care and Support West Awards, which is now in its fourth year, recognise and celebrate the profound work of carers in the region, who go the extra mile every day, but whose hard work is often overlooked.

A tremendous achievement

In total, seven representatives from the Trust were nominated for awards at the black tie ceremony, including Lauren Baxter (Quality Dementia Care), Wayne Lawn and Victoria Fardon (Ancillary Support Front Line Worker), Karen Mohamud (Excellence in Leadership) and Mike Osborn (Outstanding Volunteer).

The St Monica Trust’s CEO, David Williams said: “To have seven members of the Trust’s staff recognised in this way is a tremendous achievement, both for the individuals involved and for the services that they represent.

“We are extremely proud of the dedication and commitment demonstrated by all of our colleagues who were nominated tonight and my personal congratulations go to Josie and Malcolm for their very well-deserved awards.”

Making a huge difference

With over 250 people in attendance from the local care sector, including support from the region’s four local authority partners, the event was hosted by former Watchdog presenters, Lynn Faulds Wood and John Stapleton at the Bath Racecourse.

David Smallacombe, chief executive of Care & Support West, said “In a highly regulated sector too much emphasis is placed on what goes wrong rather than what goes right.

“Every day people like Josie and Malcolm are making a huge difference to the quality of life of older and more vulnerable people and it is wonderful to provide an opportunity to recognise the hard work that goes into working in the local care sector.”

Care and Support West is the leading membership organisation for companies, charities, organisations and individuals involved in the social care, support and health sectors in the West of England.

For more information regarding the Care and Support West awards go to www.careandsupportwest.com.

Increased to £1.2M

St Monica Trust is increasing its Community Fund to £1.2 million a year to help improve the lives disadvantaged older people.

The announcement was made at the Trust’s AGM on Wednesday 29 June as part of an ambitious five year plan for Bristol-based charity.

Community Fund

The Trust’s Community Fund currently awards up to £500,000 annually to individuals, families and organisations across the region.

Over the next five years the Trust intends to increase the amount it awards to £1.2 million per year.

Chief Executive of the St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “The money will be awarded to groups working with disadvantaged older people in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

“The Community Fund will be used to tackle a number of different issues that affect the lives of older people in the region, such as reducing social isolation and energising the communities in which they live.

“Our aim is to create sustainable solutions to the issues that matter to older people, which means that the gifts and grants will go directly to those who will benefit from it most.”

Guys & Dolls

One of the organisations which is supported through the Community Fund are Guys & Dolls, a weekly group which runs activities for older people in Cadbury Heath and the surrounding area.

Guys & Dolls has between 20 and 30 regular members and meets between 11.00am and 3.00pm every Wednesday at Cadbury Heath Hall.

The group offers a mixture of activities, exercise, refreshments and hot food and provides isolated older people with the opportunity to socialise and make new friends.

When their funding ran out, the group faced the prospect of closing its doors forever.

Guys & Dolls Co-ordinator, Sam Fisher said: “We’d had pockets of funding since we opened which got less and less each year, until we realised that we couldn’t afford to run the group anymore.”

“The whole group would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone at the St Monica Trust for their very generous donation.“Guys & Dolls is a lifeline for many vulnerable people who have nowhere else to go and we just couldn’t imagine Wednesdays without it.”

Watch the video here

Key note address

As part of a key note address to the health and social care sector, the St Monica Trust also announced:

The establishment of a Health and Social Care Learning and Research Academy in conjunction with UWE.
Creating a ‘smart’ house to develop technologies that will benefit the lives of older people.
Establishing a South West care conference for health, social care and housing as a platform to share learning and best practice.
David Williams said: “Establishing a learning and research academy, a care conference and developing innovative technology is all about the Trust working together in partnership with other organisations to make improvements in the provision of care for older people across the whole sector.”

“The Trust has gained national recognition for the quality of our training programmes. In sharing our expertise through the learning and research academy, we want to show how innovative and exciting it can be to work with older people and create a workforce that will provide the care for future generations.”

Vic Rayner

Executive Director of the National Care Forum, Vic Rayner, who was a guest speaker at the Trust’s AGM said: “As we move into a period of political uncertainty, it is absolutely critical that organisations such as the St Monica Trust show strong leadership in the health and social care sector.

“It is for this reason that I am therefore delighted to have joined the St Monica Trust as they celebrate their AGM and consider their exciting plans for the future”

The Chocolate Quarter

The St Monica Trust runs four retirement communities – Cote Lane and Westbury Fields in Westbury-on-Trym, Monica Wills House in Bedminster and Sandford Station in North Somerset.

The Trust’s fifth retirement community, The Chocolate Quarter is currently being developed at the former Somerdale factory in Keynsham and will open in summer 2017.

You can find out more about the St Monica Trust’s Community Fund by calling 0117 949 4003 or emailing community.fund@stmonicatrust.org.uk.

Given Approval

The Trust is delighted to have been given the green light to build a further eight apartments in its latest development, The Chocolate Quarter at the former Cadbury site in Keynsham.

Councillors approved the extra eight properties unanimously and noted that the additional apartments will provide an enhancement to the resident population that will make their homes within the complex in 2017.

For the charity, it represents a much needed additional financial input to the scheme, which represents an investment of £64 million by the Trust.

Councillors noted that a unique feature of the complex will be its connection to the wider community – not just on the former Somerdale site, but within Keynsham itself.

The complex will be an open community with facilities that will be inviting and welcoming to people from the local community. These facilities will include a restaurant and bar, which will be an attractive space for people to meet and socialise, serving excellent food throughout the day and evening. There will also be a spa within which visitors and residents alike will be able to enjoy a swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

Adjacent to the retirement and care accommodation will be a separate block that will have a dedicated space for a doctor’s surgery, a pharmacy and lots of office space.

On top of the 250 jobs that will be created by the St Monica Trust within its own services, more jobs will be available in the commercial and office component of the development.

Chief Executive of the St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “What we are planning here at The Chocolate Quarter is a new approach to retirement living, and we are grateful for the support we have received from BANES council.

“The apartments are being built to a high specification with great care being taken to give a feeling of being just like home. We take the view that there is no reason why our accommodation should feel any different from the kind of homes that are sold in mainstream property development.

“The difference with our development, however, is that any support or care that is needed will be brought to people on an individual basis – everything from adaptations to people’s living environments to the support they need will be individually tailored at the time they need it and will be delivered in as unobtrusive manner as possible.”

David adds that the Trust has already enjoyed the benefits of creating strong community links in its other retirement villages in Bristol and North Somerset – from six-course gourmet evenings, to water babies, space for a farmers market and musical events: “and as a mark of our determination to give The Chocolate Quarter a place within the wider Keynsham community, we will be one of the sponsors of the Keynsham Music Festival in the summer.”

A show home and marketing suite will open at The Chocolate Quarter in the summer of 2016. Anyone who is interested in finding out more should contact the St Monica Trust on 0117 949 4004.

Why we pay 5% More

Our Chief Executive David Williams explains why we’re paying 5% above the National Living Wage.

Most of us accept that the people who engage in giving care on the front line have very difficult and complex jobs and what they’re paid doesn’t reflect the level of responsibility they have in terms of delivering very intimate services to residents.

This doesn’t just affect those people who are directly involved in providing care: laundry workers, housekeepers, caterers and administrators all make a huge contribution to people’s lives.

Since taking up the post of CEO at the St Monica Trust last spring, paying our staff at a level that demonstrates how much we value them and ensuring a decent standard of living for all has been one of our key priorities.

And this begs the all-important question: shouldn’t we use the introduction of the National Living Wage as a way of making a statement that all these people are worth something?

Admittedly, the care sector is still suffering from the effects of the government’s austerity programme and many care providers are already struggling with reduced local authority funding. This creates what some would say is a compelling argument against introducing the National Living Wage on 1 April 2016.

However, before we end the debate at this juncture, let’s think about it in more detail.

Some of the cost of introducing the National Living wage must inevitably be passed on to local authorities and we need to engage in active debate about what that level should be. The flip side of the coin involves all of us in the industry looking at what we spend, how we spend it and how we demonstrate value for money in the services we provide.

We can’t simply throw our hands in the air and say that we can’t afford to pay the National Living Wage – and we can’t pile pressure on the government to help us fund this vital aspect of our service provision.

That isn’t the key to success in our sector either now or in the future.

Although the work of the St Monica Trust is funded through a combination of fee-paying income and our endowment, we have still had to set a number of efficiency targets to help us cope with the introduction of the National Living Wage. The term ‘efficiencies’ doesn’t just mean cutting costs and cutting back – it’s more about asking ourselves how we can spend our money more wisely. Do our procurement processes truly push for the very best prices? Can we increase our purchasing power by joining forces with other organisations in the care sector? Are there savings to be made by switching suppliers – in particular for energy?

Employees who feel least valued are often those people who work for a wage that doesn’t support them or their families. It makes sense that, if you want your people to deliver good care or good services to older people, you must ensure that these individuals are able to balance the other elements of their lives. Paying a wage that supports them and their families and prevents individuals from having to take two or even three jobs in order to survive is a fundamental part of that process.

We also have to professionalise the industry and make it attractive for newcomers to enter the sector – especially young people. Why would anyone in their right mind discriminate against young people coming into care and pay them less than the agreed standard for the National Living Wage?

For the Trust there was no question that we would pay everyone the same, regardless of age. We believe that this will encourage younger people to look at social care as a potential career when they leave school. Not paying them only encourages them to go and get a job in other sectors or places where they will not see a difference in pay because of their age.

Paying the National Living Wage to younger people is only part of the Trust’s larger strategy, which involves us going into schools and talking about what a career in care can look like. We need to challenge stereotypes that the care sector pays less than someone working in a fast food restaurant and demonstrate to younger people that they can have a successful and fulfilling career in social care.

Setting our lowest rate of pay at 5% above the National Living Wage fits the St Monica Trust’s ethos as an organisation. It is a clear statement to our staff: we value your contribution and we want to ensure that you get the chance to have a decent standard of living.

We see setting our lowest rate of pay at 5% above the National Living Wage as an investment in our staff and a way of acknowledging the vital contribution they make to our residents every single day of the year.

What better value for money is there than that?

Welcome to Keynsham

The St Monica Trust has named its new retirement community at the former Somerdale factory in Keynsham, The Chocolate Quarter.

The £60 million pound development is due to open in summer 2017. It will be home to 140 assisted living apartments and a 90-bed care home, as well as office space, retail outlets and leisure facilities.

Glitz, grandeur and glamourH

The St Monica Trust’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Steven Webster said: “We believe that The Chocolate Quarter is a fitting collective name for this thriving part of Keynsham, which will continue to be a destination for the local community.”

“It was important to have a name that represents both the history of the Somerdale factory and the high quality facilities, retirement apartments and office space that we will be providing.”

The logo for The Chocolate Quarter was inspired by the styles of the 1920s and incorporates the building’s iconic roof towers.

An era synonymous with glitz, grandeur and glamour, the 1920s was also the decade in which the St Monica Trust and J.S. Fry & Son’s Somerdale factory were created.

Naming competition

A naming competition for the new retirement community was won by Keynsham resident, Donald Ogg (70).

Mr Ogg has lived in Keynsham all his life and worked at the former Somerdale factory for 47 years before retiring in 2007. His winning contribution was chosen from over one hundred entries and earned him a cheque for £250.

He said: “I was able to get an engineering apprenticeship at the factory when I was sixteen and eventually ended up the manager of the same workshop that I’d done my apprenticeship in.”

“It looks like The Chocolate Quarter is going to be very good for the local area and who knows – after working there for 47 years I might be living there one day.”

Show home opening summer 2016

A St Monica Trust show home and marketing suite is due to open at The Chocolate Quarter in the summer.

St Monica Trust’s Sales Manager, Jill Whittaker added: “Visitors to the Trust’s marketing suite will be able to get a taste of what life will be like at The Chocolate Quarter and purchase a property off-plan, should they wish to do so.”

“They will be able to take a tour of a beautiful fully furnished two-bedroom apartment, which will give potential residents an idea of the exceptional quality of the 136 properties that are available.

“You can even choose soft furnishings for your apartment there and then and have them fitted and ready for when you move in.”

If you would like an invitation to attend the opening of the St Monica Trust’s marketing suite, please register your interest at http://www.stmonicatrust.org.uk/register-us or call 0117 949 4004.

Foundation Stone

The foundation stone has been laid at the former Somerdale factory in Keynsham to mark the start of building works at the St Monica Trust’s fifth retirement community.

The stone was jointly laid by Bath businessman, Cosmo Fry (left) and Patron of the St Monica Trust, Sir David Wills (right).

Sir David Wills is the great-grand-nephew of Henry and Dame Monica Wills who founded the award-winning charity in 1925.

Cosmo Fry’s grandfather, Cecil Fry was the Chairman of J.S. Fry & Sons for 28 years and was hugely influential in the confectionary company’s move from central Bristol to the Keynsham site.

Cosmo Fry said: “It was very nice to be part of the ceremony and I’m thrilled that the original factory buildings are staying up. It’s not only a testament to how well they were made in the first instance, but also because they have such a presence about them.”

Celebrating a historical relationship

Sir David Wills and Cosmo Fry used the same ceremonial mason tools which were used to lay the Somerdale factory’s and the St Monica Trust’s original foundation stones in 1932 and 1920, respectively.

Chief Executive of the St Monica Trust, David Williams said: “The historical relationship between the Wills and Fry’s family is represented on the University of Bristol coat of arms and both families funded a number of major philanthropic endeavours which were of huge benefit to the people of Bristol.

“With Sir David Wills and Cosmo Fry laying the foundation stone, we are delighted to continue this relationship between the two families through the conversion of the former Fry’s Somerdale factory into our new retirement community.

“We’re extremely grateful to Alan Freke and his colleagues at the Frenchay Museum who kindly loaned us Cecil Fry’s ceremonial mason tools.”

A pair of silver ceremonial trowels from the 1920s

Opening Summer 2017

The laying of the foundation stone marked the official start of building works at the £60 million retirement community which is due to open in Summer 2017.

The redevelopment of the former chocolate factory will create 151 assisted living apartments and a 90-bed care home, as well as office space, retail outlets and leisure facilities for the local community.

Sir David Wills, said: “The Fry and Wills families have had a long association through their charitable bequests to the people of Bristol and it was a wonderful opportunity for the St Monica Trust to purchase the site of the old chocolate factory to build their new Keynsham retirement village.”

The St Monica Trust retirement community is part of the wider Somerdale development by Taylor Wimpey, who are creating 700 homes, a new club and conference centre, a primary school and nursery, shops and sports pitches.

Please contact the St Monica Trust on 0117 949 4004 for further details or complete our online registration form.