Keys to the door: new housing scheme promotes independent living

    An innovative supported living scheme providing new accommodation for adults with learning disabilities has opened in Heywood.

    The £1.8 million new build at Cherwell Avenue contains 17 modern self-contained homes and has been delivered in partnership by Rochdale Borough Council and social enterprise PossAbilities.

    Each apartment compromises a living room, kitchen, walk-in showers and bedroom with on-site staff providing 24-hour help and support. Rooms are also fitted with modern assistive technology to help support independent living.

    The project ensures residents living with learning disabilities have their own home and ‘front door’ for the first time, with 36-year-old Rochdale resident Ryan Banks the first person to be handed the keys for his new apartment.

    Ryan said: “I am pleased to have my own place to live, it’s very exciting to be moving in to my new home with my own front door. I have done it up nice, the old fashioned way. The rooms are absolutely great and I am really happy with everything.”

    Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, cabinet member for adult care, said: “The moment I set foot in the new accommodation I could tell what a superb scheme it was, expertly designed to ensure residents’ have high quality independent living. It delivers another part of our supported living vision, which will see more and more people with learning disabilities get their own front door for the first time.”

    He added: “I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in delivering this fantastic project, it is something we can all be proud of I know from speaking with residents and their families how pleased they are with the new accommodation. It showcases the borough’s caring side at its very best.”

    Rachel Law, chief executive of PossAbilities, said: “To see our first resident handed their keys was a really moving moment for me and opens the door to a powerful new future of hope and independence. We had a dream to deliver this project and it has now turned into a reality. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work. This is about providing the opportunity for 17 residents to have a place that, for the first time in their lives, they can call home. That is a really powerful message to portray and is just the start of our journey to providing even more services for some of our borough’s most vulnerable residents.”

    Award-winning PossAbilities also runs the adjacent Cherwell Centre, which offers a range of services and facilities for those who have physical and learning disabilities.

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