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Sanctuary Housing - Torbay

Sanctuary Housing manages more than 3,000 homes in the English Riviera towns of Brixham, Paignton and Torquay.

We have a wide range of homes available to rent or buy and are committed to providing quality homes and excellent services that meet the needs of the local community.

Tending to his garden, a resident smiles as he takes a break outside his house in Torbay.

General rented housing provides affordable homes for people on low incomes. Our rented properties are available at lower rents than the open market.

How to apply

We work with local authorities to move residents into our homes. We use the Choice Base Letting (CBL) scheme Devon Home Choice in the Torbay area.

If you would like to apply to live in one of our homes, you will need to apply by register with Devon Home Choice, by filling in their online application form. You can search, apply and bid for a property on their website www.devonhomechoice.com

Sanctuary provides high quality schemes which benefit from a scheme manager service, allowing residents to live comfortably, securely and independently.

Residents have their own self-contained accommodation; services include a dedicated scheme manager responsible for the management of the building and communal areas, 24 hour in-house telecare service and a separate 24 hour phone line to report any repairs or raise enquiries.

For further information:

  • For further information about housing for older people in the Torbay area, please call us on 0800 917 0092 or 0300 123 3599.

A glittering awards ceremony at The Palace Hotel in Torquay has marked the outstanding contribution Torbay communities have made to their neighbourhoods.

The awards were aimed at commending community members for their efforts in making the Bay a vibrant place to live and celebrate their commitment and success.

Neighbourhood Champion Award:


Kath and Clive Sowden

Shortlisted nominees:

Amanda Martin, Wendy Burridge, Usha Garrettley

Lifetime Contribution to the Community Award:


Gordon Jennings

Shortlisted nominees:

Margaret Pilgrim, Maureen Giffard, Sandra Dillon

Green Heroes Award:


Gardens and Greens

Shortlisted nominees:

Torbay Street Wardens, Growing Communities, Pride in Brixham

Partnership Award:


ROC Collaborative Blatchcombe

Shortlisted nominees:

Acorn Centre, Anode, Windmill Family Learning Programme

Community Spirit Award:


Rose Harrison

Shortlisted nominees:

Ann Whitehouse, FUN (Foxhole Unique Neighbourhoods), Lorrie Layne

Sports Personality of the Year Award:


Watcombe Wanderers

Shortlisted nominees:

Elliot Crook, George Thompson, So Fly

Youth Champion Award:


Sophie Hickey

Shortlisted nominees:

Play Torbay, Andy Shepherd, Hannah Aske

Local stars from across Torbay were celebrated at 2016's Torbay Community Star Awards on 4 March, an annual event honouring the contributions of community members across the Bay.

Winners celebrate their achievement at the Torbay Community Star Awards

Take a look at the video from 2016's ceremony:

Winners and shortlisted nominees 2016

Neighbourhood Champion


Ann Whitehouse

Shortlisted nominees:

Brian Mallaney, Jenny Day, Kelly Shepherd

Community Spirit


Catch Up Café

Shortlisted nominees:

Nina Cooper, Windmill Centre, Great Parks Community Association

Lifetime Contribution


Sandra Dillon

Shortlisted nominees:

Marilyn Martin, Andy Shepherd, Maureen Giffard

Sports Champion



Shortlisted nominees:

Acorn Centre, Watcombe Wanderers FC, Bobby Singh – ROC Active



Chelston Action Group

Shortlisted nominees:

Anode, Totally Teenagers, Family Learning Project (FLP)

Green Fingers


Maria Hunter

Shortlisted nominees:

Alan Fillis, Hele’s Angels (Gardens and Greens), Woodend Project

Youth Champion:


Luke Paton

Shortlisted nominees:

Jacki Greening, Hannah Aske, Katie Sowden

Torbay Community Development Trust’s Volunteer of the Year


Shaun Tasker

Love Sport logo

Residents from across Torbay can get energised for the future through our new local sport and fitness programme. Love Sport Torbay 2017 is coming soon with a range of exciting activities for local residents - watch this space!

Find out more about Love Sport here

Fun Dance Sessions

Torbay residents are invited get fit and healthy at free dance fitness classes this autumn.

Torbay residents invited to develop their dance skills.

Find out more about our Dance Fitness Sessions here.

Sanctuary in neighbourhoods


Our approach to investing in Watcombe is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in Watcombe, or run a business.

The newly refurbished Watcombe Community Centre in Torbay.

Watcombe Community Centre has come a long way in the last two years. A refurbishment programme has seen new toilets and kitchen equipment installed and the centre now has a vibrant programme of activities.

How we’ve helped

  • Contributed £1,500 to help refurbish the toilets.
  • Donated a £1,000 grant for new kitchen equipment.
  • A staff member to provide on-going advice and support with fundraising and developing new activities.


  • Improved community facility and a new programme of activities, including fortnightly lunch club, bingo and weekly dance classes for the over 50s.
  • Increased income to the centre from hire of the hall as a result of the improved facilities.
  • Two new volunteers each contributing 144 hours of their time per year.

Rosemary Harrison showing off her baking talents.

Rosemary had formerly managed a nursing home and, when she retired, was looking for something useful to do in the community. When the opportunity came to join the Cook4Life course, Rosemary became actively involved and has since gone on to become the driving force behind the lunch club at her housing scheme, Prince Charles Court.

How we’ve helped

  • 40 hours’ staff time to arrange the Cook4Life course for residents.
  • Funded the £1,000 cost of training for eight participants to complete the course.


  • Around 450 meals provided each year with the scheme’s residents benefiting from home cooked meals and social interaction.
  • Key event celebrations marked and well attended by the residents leading to new friendships.
  • Residents participating in healthier lifestyles.

A resident stands in one of the gardens created through the Riviera Growing Communities

The Riviera Growing Communities project was born when Sanctuary teamed up with national charity The Conservation Volunteers. The project has seen raised beds, fruit trees, compost bins and water bins installed at eight older people’s housing schemes and residents benefiting from help and advice from a horticulture officer.

How we’ve helped

  • Sanctuary contributed £26,000 of funding towards the project.
  • Staff spent 168 hours carrying out the initial consultation, engaging residents in the project and working with them to make sure it was a success.


  • More than 70 residents involved in learning new gardening skills and growing fruit and vegetables.
  • Reduced social isolation due to the community aspect of project.
  • National roll-out of project in Sanctuary schemes across the country.


Our approach to investing in Hele is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in Hele, or run a business.

An advice session from the financial inclusion project ran by Hele's Angels and funded by Sanctuary Housing.

Hele’s Angels community hub provides support, advice and encourages community action. Launched in 2010, the project has a wide range of aims, from improving residents’ work prospects and facilities for young people, to looking at how to reduce antisocial behaviour.

How we’ve helped

  • Provided £18,000 of funding to help run surgeries and pay staff salaries.
  • Provided £4,000 of funding for local weekly work club, I Can Do That.
  • Provided funding for two Future Jobs Fund positions, targeted at 16 to 19-year-olds, and two apprentices.


  • Daily surgeries about care, housing, finance and employment available to residents.
  • New services now run from the centre, including Plough and Share Credit Union, to meet the need of local residents.
  • Four local young people have gained employment with Hele’s Angels through apprenticeships and Future Jobs Fund positions.

Ann Whitehouse holds a teddy bear prize at a fundraising event in Hele.

Ann Whitehouse has been a Hele resident for more than 20 years. She takes part in fundraising walks for local community centres and Hele’s Angels. She is a popular member of the community and her positivity and volunteering at the community shop is inspiring more residents to get involved in their neighbourhood.

How we’ve helped

  • Support from Hele’s Angels to help Ann to form her fundraising ideas.
  • Promotion of Ann’s fundraising events.
  • Training from Hele’s Angels to help Ann develop her retail skills.


  • Ann’s volunteering and fundraising activities have inspired other residents to do the same.
  • The community shop has gone from strength to strength with Ann’s help and has seen an increase in volunteers.

Volunteer staff at the Hele's Angels Community shop.

The community shop was previously an empty retail unit which needed renovation. Since it opened, the community shop has created job opportunities and benefits the whole community. The shop provides residents with important items such as clothes, books and children’s items at affordable prices.

How we’ve helped

  • Made a £7,500 donation for the redevelopment of the shop.
  • Donated garage space to enable stock to be stored.


  • Volunteers give 60 hours of their time each week to make sure the shop provides a valuable resource for the community.
  • The shop has made more than £10,000 which has helped Hele’s Angels to become self-sustainable.


Our approach to investing in Blatchcombe is about involving everyone with a positive interest in the neighbourhood: whether they rent from us or own their own home; whether they go to school in Blatchcombe, or run a business.

Children play on a bouncy castle.

The Great Parks ROC Café, which provides an exciting after-school programme, is now able to run community activities on a day-to-day basis, thanks to funding from Sanctuary’s Community Investment fund.

How we’ve helped

  • Contributed £9,540 to help run community activities on a day-to-day basis.
  • Provided 156 hours of Sanctuary staff time over 3 years.
  • £720 worth of free room hire at Great Parks Community Centre for workshops and meetings. 


  • Reported reduced social isolation of families and improvements to their well-being, through peer support and signposting to appropriate organisations.
  • More residents using Great Parks Community Centre, making new friends and contributing to its success for the future.
  • Increased volunteering opportunities and access to training.

A child with her handmade heart.

At Great Parks Homework Club, young people are encouraged to participate in creative learning projects, focusing on literacy and numeracy, supported by Sanctuary’s Community Investment Budget.

How we’ve helped

  • £2,850 Sanctuary Community Investment funding to provide homework club at Great Parks Community Centre once a week.
  • 10 hours of Sanctuary staff time to broker arrangements and relationships between delivery partner and the local community.


  • Young people are now raising funds for Great Parks Community Centre, using new skills to make and sell craft products.
  • Feedback from young people illustrates a clear understanding of the importance of sharing, taking turns and respecting the values of others.