Care For Older People

Care For Older People

“For many years the Merchant Venturers have been closely involved in improving the quality of life for the elderly; originally through their involvement in almshouses, the St Monica Trust and more recently, through the Cote Charity. The opening of Katherine House, a purpose-built residential home, marks a significant addition to the support provided to the elderly by the Merchant Venturers.” – Charles Griffiths, Chairman, Cote Charity.

Through some of the trusts which it administers, the Merchant Venturers have been closely involved in the care of older people in Bristol for more than 350 years, initially as Trustee of the Merchants’ Almshouses in King Street and Colston’s Almshouses on St. Michael’s Hill.

St Monica Trust

The Merchants’ most substantial commitment to supporting older people is through its close relationship with the St Monica Trust, which provides care, accommodation and support for over 1,000 people in and around Bristol.

The Merchants are responsible for the management of a substantial endowment on behalf of the charity as well as providing nominations to the Council of Trustees, which oversees the strategic direction of the Trust.

Chaired by Merchant Venturer Trevor Smallwood, the organisation is recognised as being a leading provider of retirement accommodation and care in a range of different settings.

From independent living and care at home through to specialist care for people living with dementia, the Trust is able to respond to the needs of every individual according to their own circumstances.

The charity operates three retirement villages in Bristol and has recently completed a fourth development in Sandford, North Somerset. Sandford Station, which is designed to the same model as the Trust’s other sites, incorporates a number of different facilities on the same site. Just over 100 flats and houses provide independent accommodation for those who are in need of lower levels of support. At the heart of the complex are a range of facilities including a licensed restaurant, health spa, indoor bowling and a library with broadband internet access. Alongside this part of the site, is The Russets, which provides ground-breaking support for people living with dementia and a separate care home, named ‘Sherwood’ after the late Merchant Venturer, Louis Sherwood, which provides general needs nursing care for 30 people.

In addition to the operational activities of the organisation, the charity also provides monetary assistance for people who are facing financial hardship and who have a long-term physical health problem. Help in the form of gifts and grants are awarded to individuals and the organisation also supports the activities of non-profit making enterprises that also operate in the field of social care and support.

Cote Charity – Katherine House

The Society of Merchant Venturers is Trustee of the Cote Charity, which provides retirement housing and care for older people. The Charity runs Katherine House, a purpose-built 40 bed residential home based on a beautiful site in Westbury-on-Trym, which was completed in December 2009.

Features of Katherine House include:

• High standards of care which  respect the independent lifestyle and needs of elderly people
• Spacious bright bedrooms with en-suite facilities
• Three communal sitting rooms with views of the grounds
• A dining room with a private area that can be sectioned off for special occasions

Colston’s Almshouses

The Merchants’ involvement with Bristol’s almshouses dates back over 300 years, when the Society became Trustee of Colston’s Almshouses on St Michael’s Hill, built in 1696. This Grade 1 listed building has been refurbished in order to provide sheltered accommodation for its residents.

Colston’s Almshouses comprises of:

• 12 recently refurbished 1-bedroom flats
• A communal lounge
• Laundry
• Garden

There is also opportunity for residents to get involved in various social activities such as regular coffee mornings. A weekly church service is also available. For further details, or to request information on vacancies, please contact Vivienne Withers on 0117 9873 540 or at