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New colours make a huge difference to visually impaired residents

Mears, Brighton and Hove City Council’s provider of repairs and maintenance services, approached the Hankinson Painting Group to help transform Elwyn Jones Court, Brighton. Elwyn Jones Court is a sheltered accommodation scheme which is home to 77 elderly residents. Oscar Cullinane, Hankinson’s Contracts Manager, worked in partnership with Dulux to create a colour palate using the Rainbow Project’s recommendations.The Rainbow Project is the result of research carried out by Reading University and ICI which mixes light and dark colours to produce clear contrasts which can assist people with visual impairment to orientate themselves and move safely around. Also the light reflective value (LRV) of the paints can be used to highlight doorways, windows, store cupboards and ‘bump hazards.’ The colour palate was chosen not only to assist tenants but to create a more homely feel with the paint pearlescence giving the walls visual interest when viewed in different angles and lights.A meeting was held with all the residents and Glyn Thomas, the Scheme Manager at Elwyn Jones Court to discuss the colour choices. At the meeting it was agreed that a different colour scheme would be used on each of the four floors. The landings off the main stairways would be painted in the main colour for each floor with the end walls and doorway surrounds in a contrasting colour. All woodwork was decorated in contrasting gloss paint.Craig Dainty, Hankinson’s Foreman in charge of the project, said: "The difference is quite remarkable, there are a lot of long corridors that were previously painted completely in magnolia. These corridors now have three different colours which adds warmth. My team liked doing the redecoration and they all agreed that the end product was well worth it".Phillip Ludwig, Mears Decent Homes Manager said: “This was a new initiative which was developed in association with paint specialists Hankinson and their supply partner Dulux and it’s a brilliant example of collaborative partnership working. The transformation of the scheme has been fantastic and warmly appreciated by residents and their families and friends.”David Rosser, Hankinson’s Director of Social Housing said: "This is great, it’s a high quality job that gives a bespoke look and homely feel to the place.”One resident was so delighted with the result that she could not wait to show it off to her daughter, she said: “Hankinson’s should be proud of their decorators, they make my day each morning.”


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