OAP village design gong win

Tracy Paine of Belong (centre) with celebrity GP Dr Phil Hammond and senior judge Patricia Young at the awards ceremony
Tracy Paine of Belong (centre) with celebrity GP Dr Phil Hammond and senior judge Patricia Young at the awards ceremony
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One of the leading figures in the development of Wigan’s community village for older people in Platt Bridge has been named as the UK’s Healthcare Design Champion.

Tracy Paine is the Operations Director at Belong, which has four villages completed in the North West and a fifth under development. She received the honour at the finals of the Building Better Healthcare Awards held at The Brewery in central London.

The award came just three weeks after Tracy flew back to the UK from the United States after speaking at a global ageing conference in Washington DC alongside other speakers which included Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, and Maya Angelou, the American author and poet.

She is also chair of the National Care Forum’s Older People and Dementia Committee, giving her the opportunity to link health and social care experiences with other providers and help spread good practice.

Tracy said: “It has been a hectic month but one that I will remember for a long time. Good design enables us to deliver the very best living experience for older people who either live in or visit our community villages.”

Belong Wigan is one of four villages completed since 2007 and Tracy has taken the lead on all of these projects, described by the judges as “a new lifestyle concept where older people can feel at home in their own private space while being in close proximity to a range of facilities and activities.”

A spokesman for Pozzoni LLP architects, which nominated her, said: “Tracy leads the team with innovative design, development and operation of the villages. Her tenacity in striving for the best care and built environments for older people challenges convention and has led to new ways of thinking.”