New homes have opened in Surrey to help people who need extra support live independently in the community.
A specially-designed property containing nine homes has opened in Redhill to give people with learning disabilities or autism their own front door and key.
Support staff are always on hand and flats are kitted out with the latest in assistive technology including Amazon Alexa devices which can help with tasks such as creating shopping lists and calling on key workers.
The new service is the result of a partnership between care provider Active Prospects, Surrey County Council and the NHS.
Many of the residents were previously housed in long-term hospital or residential care, in some cases outside the county. For all of them, it’s the first home they can call their own.
The county council is aiming to reduce the number of people with a learning disability or autism in residential care by 40 to 50 per cent over the next five years. This will be achieved through working to expand the provision of supported housing similar to the new Redhill development, enabling people to lead more independent lives.
One new resident at the service, Joe (pictured right, in black), said: “I love helping with the gardening and the painting, I really enjoy doing those things with the maintenance team. We have planted a lot of plants and I now have to look after them.”
Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “Everyone already seems so settled and happy in their new homes, which is great to see. The homes and the environment, including the garden, will encourage independent living.
“When I get the opportunity to come out and see great providers, such as Active Prospects, it becomes a lot more real for us, Surrey County Council, with our ambitious supported housing scheme plans.
“All young people relish opportunities to achieve their goals and take on responsibilities – with the right level of support that can be possible for everyone and that’s what we’re seeking to achieve.
“As a council, we’re changing what we do and how services are delivered to make sure we reflect the ways our residents live. Residents who need our help will be supported to live as independently as they can, for as long as they can, in their communities.”
The full media release from Active Prospects can be found here.