When we learnt that a care home housing three close friends was about to close, we stepped in with a liberating plan.
We aimed to keep the three women together, and move them back into the community, into a home that wasn’t a registered care home, and didn’t look like one, but still featured all of the equipment the women need to live independently. Ultimately we aimed to offer independence and choice for the friends, and help them easily integrate into their new community.
It was another exciting first for SSHA and what a rewarding challenge it was. Maggie McCaul, Supported Living Manager at Mencap comments, “Mencap is working towards a society in which people with a learning disability have the opportunity to make the most of their lives, SSHA have made this dream happen, which in turn has made the residents incredibly happy.”
There were many partners involved in the project. Mencap worked in unison with the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the local authority to ensure the home not only met the residents’ needs, but also met regulatory requirements. The women can now enjoy a beautiful home on a quiet residential street.
Steve Smith, Strategic Asset Manager, describes the extent of the changes, “Bought on the open market the property was completely redesigned. Guided by Mencap we added low temperature radiators, raised plug sockets and widened doorways for wheelchair access. We also fitted fewer grab handles, which meant more space and gave the appearance of a typical bungalow. A large bathroom features a state-of-the-art powered, reclining bath and a second shower room was added. We have nothing else like this, it’s wonderful.”
This is the first project of its type for SSHA but Steve says he’s working closely with social services to identify small plots of land to build homes that can be used to help more people with specific needs.
He added, “We’re an innovative organisation, and willing to try different things and new technology like this.”