Almshouses trace their history back to monastic times when the terms “bedehouse”, “hospital”, “almshouse” and others described the provision of accommodation for those in need.
With a long history reaching back to the fifteenth century and currently situated in a Grade 1 Listed Building dating from 1727, the Blue House is an Almshouse administered by a voluntary Board of Trustees. With 17 flats, the Blue House is located on an island in the centre of Frome, with a considerable well-maintained garden running alongside the river. It is a Registered Social Landlord, registered with the Regulator of Social Housing, affiliated to the Almshouse Association and is a Registered Charity.
The flats offer warm and comfortable self-contained dwellings of character, where residents can continue to lead independent lives. There is also a common room available for communal functions where residents may, if they wish, join with others for coffee mornings/afternoons or other activities of choice.
The trustees allocate accommodation based on the applicant’ s circumstances and the benefit likely to be derived from membership of an Almshouse community.
To be eligible, potential residents must be 55 years of age or over, need to live in or have a strong historical connection with the Frome area, wish to be part of a community and be ‘in need’. Generally, the trustees consider economic hardship to mean that a person is not able to buy or rent a similar property in Frome.
All residents need to be capable of independent living as no care facilities are provided by the Trust and there is no warden on site.
The Blue House is managed on a day to day basis by 4 part-time staff: the scheme Manager; a Finance and Admin Officer, a Handyman and a housekeeper.