Gatesbield Quaker Housing Association Ltd Supporting older people for more than 40 years

Open Gardens 20th May 2023

We are opening our award-winning  Garden to the public on Saturday 20th May between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, and very much hope you can join us.

Entrance is £4 which includes tea and cake, the opportunity to explore our 2-acre woodland garden in the grounds of the Arts and Crafts Movement Gatesbield House, enjoy the wonderful music of NW Harps and check out our plant and bric-a-brac stalls.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston. Please note that we do not have card facilities—cash only. There will be no parking available on site but ‘on-street’ parking is available locally.  Limited seating will be available.  You may, however, wish to bring a folding chair.

Gatesbield 40th Anniversary Garden Party - 23 July 2022 at 1:30pm

Although there is some uncertainty over the weather, we have taken the decision that the event will go ahead.  Please note that with 1 in 17 people in England currently infected with Covid, we decided from the outset that to protect our visitors, staff and tenants, this will be an entirely outside event - there will be no entry to Gatesbield buildings other than to access the toilets.  We do, however have a number of gazebos erected in the grounds to provide shelter if there is rain.  We ask our visitors to come prepared for whatever the weather may have in store for us.

We hope and expect to offer the full programme, so whatever the weather it should still be a very enjoyable occasion for all.  We have live music for NW Harps, an informative talk and wood craft demonstration by Jeremy Hall, a collection of Stanley Davies' tools, Ian Naylor (author on Stanley Davies), a plant stall and bric-a-brac stall, and most important of all, tea and cake! 

Information for Tenants and Staff regarding Covid-19

The following leaflets are available to download:

Recent Information issued to Staff and Tenants regarding Covid-19:

Covid-19 Update (issued 29 March 2022)

Farewell to Paula

Paula Sanderson has decided to have a career change and left Gatesbield on Sunday 5  December. Paula has worked at Gatesbield for 4 years and leaves with happy memories. We thank you for all your hard work, Paula, and you leave with all our very best wishes for the future.  Many of our tenants and staff came together to wish Paula well on her last day of work at Gatesbield.

An original painting by our tenant, Irene Wallace was presented to Paula 

Storm Arwen takes its toll

Storm Arwen caused some damage at Gatesbield - one of our trees was uprooted and a small amount of damage was done to the roof.  All was returned to normal very quickly thanks to contractor Ben Harrison.  More information and pictures in the December 2021 Bulletin.

New Owl Box

A huge thank-you to Bernard Rushton, who has made a wonderful new owl box for Gatesbield.  It was built based on plans from the Barn Owl Trust. Thanks also to Neil Pharaoh for mounting the box securely and to Martin Rouen for selecting a suitable camera for use inside the box, that should enable us to monitor the goings on, if and when anyone moves in.

Our last owl family took up residence in the earlier (now collapsed) owl box in 2017.  Photos from the time are still available on our OwlWatch page.

40th Annual General Meeting 9th June 2021 at 7:00pm by Zoom

Papers for the AGM
 have been sent to members, tenants, staff and sponsors.  Copies of the 2020 Annual Report are available here

Craft Cottage Project completion

The Craft Cottage project is now completed and we are welcoming our new Tenants.  A press release by SLDC is available here. Congratulations to all those involved in the project and thanks to Swarthmoor Area Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Cumbria County Council South Lakeland District Council and other private donors for their generous contribution to this extremely valuable project.

Craft Cottage update

We are delighted to announce that the Craft Cottage Conversion project should be completed this month.  Thanks to all involved.  We look forward to three new Tenants joining our community.


These photos are of the upstairs flat as it nears completion.

Craft Cottage update

Work on the new Craft Cottage flats has resumed.  We will make a further announcement when we have an expected completion date.

Bird Box Cameras

The video cameras in our two Bird Boxes have been repaired, so we now have six bird cameras (two nest boxes, two feeders, owl box and wide view around the owl box) available to watch live in the Common Room.  We record these images so if you miss anything important we should be able to show it.  All we need now are some birds to take up residence ...

 Three new flats to become available in Spring 2020

Three new sheltered/extra care flats will be available for rent in the spring.  We currently expect them to be available from May 2020.  With support from Swarthmoor Area Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Cumbria County Council and several other other generous private donors, we have been able to create three modern, purpose designed flats in the delightfully characterful building known as Craft Cottage.  The traditional stone building was originally housed the showroom and workshop for Stanley Davies' Arts and Crafts Movement furniture business.  Externally, it's character has been preserved, but internally the building has been remodelled by local architects Crosby Granger to provide three spacious, flats, easily managed and beautifully proportioned.  The two ground-floor flats are fully accessible.

If you are interested in becoming a tenants at Gatesbield (or maybe know a friend or relative who may be interested), please contact us by phone (015394) 45578 or e-mail us at

Craft Cottage Development Project

The building work to convert Craft Cottage into three additional extra care flats is progressing well.  We are expecting them to be completed in March.

Gatesbield Christmas Party

The Christmas party for our Tenants was held on Wednesday 18th December, before some of our Tenants had left to spend some time over Christmas with their friends and families.

The event was great fun!  Thanks to everyone to helped make it a great occasion.

A Christmas Dinner was served on Christmas Day for those Tenants who stayed at Gatesbield.  Thanks to Nick and Paula for covering Christmas Day and to Neil and Amanda Pharaoh for volunteering to help out.  Also, thanks to Joanne for working on Boxing Day.

MacMillan Coffee morning

Thanks to everyone who attended and helped with the MacMillan Coffee Morning.  You helped raise £172.90 for this great cause.

Garden Gallery

Take a look at our garden here.  It's looking beautiful this year.

Craft Cottage Development Project

Our plans to convert Craft Cottage into three additional extra care flats were approved last year by LDNPA.  We are finalising arrangements with our funding partners for this project and have a builder ready to start.  We hope that work will begin shortly.

Gatesbield retains 5-star food hygiene rating

Congratulations to Janet Garlick and all our staff.  Our premises were inspected on 22 January 2019 and we are delighted to report that they were awarded the maximum '5' rating.  Further details are available here (Food Standards Agency website - opens in new tab/window).

Scheme Manager

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new Scheme Manager, Joanne Busuttil, who took the post in mid-October.

Relief Warden Appointed

We are are pleased to welcome Siobhan to our staff team.

Garden Open Day Saturday 12th May 2018

Our Garden was opened to the public on Saturday 12th May from 2:00pm until 4:30pm.  This event is held in conjunction with St Mary's Hospice and raised £700.  Thanks to everyone who prepared this event and who helped on the day.

Autumn Festival of the Arts and the Crafts

Throughout October, Gatesbield held several events showcasing talent from within Gatesbield and beyond.  For further details, our Festival programme is still available here.  In November, we also had a Craft Demonstration - Sue Tyldesley demonstrating Encaustic Art (making pictures with wax).

Craft Cottage Development Project

Gatesbield has submitted plans for the conversion of Craft Cottage into three additional apartments to extra care standards.  For more information and if you would like to support the project, please download our leaflet here.

Owl watch latest

A gallery of photos is available here

More new residents at Gatesbield!

Two new young residents have made Gatesbield their home.

We hope they will enjoy their time with us.

New (feathery) resident arrives at Gatesbield

For the first time in several years, we have been pleased to see a tawny owl take up residence in our owl box.  She is now raising her family of owlets.

A CCTV camera has been set up to allow tenants and visitors to watch the comings and goings on the TV in the common room.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the collection for the camera system.

We also have cameras set up in two bird boxes and on our bird feeders.  Unfortunately, no birds have nested in the bird boxes this year, but we have seen a wide variety of birds using the feeders.  

New Tenant Support Service

We are delighted that Helen Thompson has joined the Gatesbield team to provide a new Tenant Support service available to tenants needing help with tasks around your home.

Helen is here on a Monday and Tuesday, and is able to provide support with regular or occasional tasks such as light housework, laundry, paperwork, sorting cupboards, outings, shopping etc.
Tenants can arrange a visit from Helen through the office.
The service costs £13 for one hour, £7 for half an hour or £6 for laundry only.
Helen also joins our team of Relief Wardens

Meals service expanded

We are now able to offer tenants and their visitors a full lunchtime meal service every week day.  Our cook, Janet Garlick, will work every weekday from 10th October.  Nick Harrison will also provide cover as a Relief Cook.

Changes to out of hours cover

Our provider of out of hours cover notified us that they could no longer provide the service due to difficulties in recruiting suitable staff in the area.  To maintain the cover currently provided, the Gatesbield Board agreed to recruitment additional staff to the Gatesbield team.  Tenants should see no change in the service, but in the event of a problem between 5pm and 9am requiring someone to attend a tenant's flat, this will now be provided by one of the Gatesbield 'on-call' team.  All members of the 'on-call' team live close to Gatesbield, and will normally be on-site within 30 minutes.

Tenants access the service exactly as previously using a red cord or pendant alarm to call Astraline.  Depending on the nature of the problem, Astraline will call a member of the 'on-call' team and/or the emergency services as appropriate.

Staff changes

We welcome four new part-time and casual staff to the Gatesbield Team - Julie Eves, Nick Harrison, Shelly Stokes and Helen Thompson.  All four will help provide cover as Relief Wardens when neither Andree nor Fiona are on duty. Julie, Nick and Helen will also provide out of hours on-call cover..  Helen is also our Tenant Support Worker, providing additional domestic help to tenants on a chargeable basis.  Nick is also our Cleaner and available to stand in as a Relief Cook.

Helen Clark has left Gatesbield as she and her family return to live in the south of England.  We send her our very best wishes for the future.

Jess Gillam

We congratulate Jess Gillam on her spectacular performance in the Grand Final of the BBC Young Musician Competition 2016, which took place on Sunday 15th May at the Barbican.

Jess, who very kindly performed along with her younger sister Patsy at Gatesbield in 2014, was the first saxophonist ever to reach the final and clearly has a stellar future ahead of her.
For more information on Jess, click here

Sylvia Frith


We were delighted to welcome Sylvia Frith (Gatesbield's first Scheme Manager) to our Quaker Meeting for Worship recently.

She very much admired the new facilities and was extremely pleased to see Gatesbield continuing to thrive.

We hope to see you again soon, Sylvia!


Friends of Gatesbield

Are you involved at Gatesbield as a volunteer, Board member, part of the staff team, maybe are a friend or family member of one of our tenants, or even just interested in knowing more about us? Why not join the newly launched 'Friends of Gatesbield'?

The inaugural meeting took place on Monday 13th July 2015 and the first meeting of the Friends of Gatesbield Co-ordinating Group took place on 13th October.  Come back here for more news or download the application form here

For further information, call Gatesbield on 015394 45578 or email

 'Improving Access' project - completed          

 We are delighted to announce the completion of our 'Improving Access' project, which aims to extend and redevelop the communal facilities at Gatesbield, to enhance participation and enjoyment of our services.

Through the generosity of private donors and support from several grant awarding Trusts and other bodies, we have been able to build:

  • New accessible toilet facilities

  • More handrails and a new ramp to a spacious entrance/reception hall

  • Well lit and easier circulation routes inside with space for mobility aids

  • Improved office, meeting, laundry and catering spaces

  • Accessible parking bay/level dropping-off point

If you would like to support future development projects at Gatesbield, contact Gatesbield on 015394 45578 or e-mail