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Supported Living setting in Mirfield established by carers

At the end of last year (2013) a new supported living setting was established in Mirfield by a group of carers.

In the current climate, it is not easy as a carer to find much to smile about. The support for those we care for is under constant threat, and if they don't get what they need, it falls back on us to make up the difference once again. It becomes hard to stay up-beat, and to avoid sinking into anger and a feeling of helplessness …

So here's a little ray of hope. It's about a recent development that has been driven from the start by a group of local carers whose offspring – all young adults with learning disabilities- were in need of a supported living opportunity that didn't seem to be available in the form that they wanted, or a location that they trusted.

In only18 months, this group has managed to bring this provision into place. A local children's charity in Mirfield (West Yorkshire), Northorpe Hall Child and Family Trust, had two cottages for which they had no future use, and which had put up for auction. An anonymous donor who was deeply impressed with the work of Ambitions (a day care provision just down the road from the Trust) and aware of the challenges faced by the young adults with learning disabilities who attended there, made a donation to convert the 200 year-old cottages into supported living accommodation.

The carers took it from there, in both designing The Croft (as it is known), project-managing the renovation, pulling together a care specification, and appointing a Housing Association as landlord and a care company to provide the support.

It opened in mid-August 2013, and now houses four young adults who show every sign of thriving.

Yes, it had the advantage of the donation to start it off, and we wouldn't minimise the significance of that...but just as importantly it has shown that a group of carers with a common aim can make something happen – and in the midst of the present threat of yet more reductions in budgets it is important to know that we are not always as helpless as we feel.....


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