On Tuesday 29th November, we held an event to mark the inaugural concrete pour at our new development, Ephraim Court, in the heart of Mill Hill East. Joined by our Patron, Chief Rabbi Mirvis, Dr Mathew Offord – MP for Hendon, our Presidents, Trustees and key supporters, the ceremony marked the next stage of construction work beginning on site. Due for completion in the summer of 2024, Ephraim Court will provide 30 new apartments for people with physical disabilities and / or vision impairments.
The building is named Ephraim Court in memory of brothers Menashi (Morris) and Heskel (Harry) Ephraim, after we secured a lead gift for the new development from the Ephraim 1998 Charitable Trust.
The development will provide 23 one-bedroom mobility apartments and 7 two-bedroom mobility apartments as well as an overnight studio apartment for the on-site house manager and a range of communal facilities.
The apartments are being designed to meet the needs of people with physical disabilities and / or vision impairments and will include accessible modern fitted kitchens and walk in shower rooms, spacious enough to accommodate wheelchairs. There will be communal laundry facilities, with accessible machines for all to use, a lounge, small garden, and roof terrace. There is parking for tenants which will enable those who drive to retain this aspect of their independence.
As an independent organisation that receives no government funding, all our developments have, to date, been funded with the support and generosity of the community. Thanks to the generosity of supporters so far, we have raised just over £7m and are committed to raising the final £3m which will then enable us to find a site in Hertfordshire.
Following the event onsite, guests joined tenants for tea at Frances and Dick James Court – our current development of 42 apartments in Mill Hill East.
Chief Rabbi Mirvis said:
“It is a privilege for me to be part of this event. I have witnessed the impressive work and activities of Jewish Blind & Disabled for many years and I am exceptionally proud of their amazing achievements. To construct anything, you must have a solid foundation, and this is what we are starting here. The foundations for this building can be the same that are applied to our Judaism – built in chesed – acts of loving kindness. Our Jewish world depends on chesed, and I am blown away by the act of kindness from the Ephraim 1998 Charitable Trust in supporting this building. Huge thank you to one and all for being part of the successful foundations of Jewish life for those that need us.”
Dr Matthew Offord MP said:
“Jewish Blind & Disabled is very important to me, and I have been a supporter of their work for many years. I was particularly keen to attend the concrete pour; it is an exciting day, and it is great to be here. The commitment to the community over such a long period of time is clear to see at JBD and I know this development will help meet the needs of people living in the community.”
Jewish Blind & Disabled’s Chair, Marc Gordon, said:
“Today we poured the first concrete into our foundations at Ephraim Court. This building will provide the foundations for people of all ages with physical disabilities or vision impairments to live their life to the full, with a home that meets their needs, with 24/7 support to hand in a supportive Jewish Community.
It can’t come soon enough. Demand is high. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure we can meet the increasing demand of our unique offering in the community. Today is another Milestone towards that. One we wouldn’t be here celebrating if it wasn’t for the generosity of our supporters”.
See the photos from the event here.