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Friends Ben, Jenna, Rupert and John live in Cornwall and are supported by Mencap. Using Golden Lane Housing’s 2014 Retail Charity Bond their home has been bought and specially adapted. Viv and Rick, Ben’s parents explain how the move has benefited him.
“We thought moving in was going to be a slow transition for Ben,” says Viv and Rick. “It was absolutely amazing, and we found out we were wrong!
Ben’s bedroom is the converted garage. He’d chosen the colour blue for his walls and the room is just the right size for him, it’s got a real feel of a lad’s den.
Some of the others had already moved into the bungalow. To help Ben settle in he had tea with them, and then came back to our house, we don’t live far away. The following Tuesday he went back. We thought he was only going to stay for a couple of hours, but that was that, he’d moved in! He didn’t want to come back to our house and he’s never stayed since.
We were quite surprised, but in a good way. We thought it was going to take a long time to get used to his new home. Ben has Downs Syndrome and likes having a set routine and a structure. We think he made the decision to move in after having tea with everyone and would have stayed that night. Having his own place has really empowered him to make choices, we’ve really seen him develop and grow in a short space of time. For a while, we wondered if he was going to change his mind, but it’s been quite the opposite.
Ben gets on well with everyone. There’s a good Mencap staff team who have got to know what they need and when. Ben likes to have time on his own, especially if his routine has changed. Having the option to spend time in his bedroom or in another room on his own is really important. It helps him to relax, process what’s happened and then he’s fine. Everyone gives each other that time and space as well as having fun. The amount of work that Mencap put in, alongside Ben’s social worker helped to make the transition for Ben very successful.
We are delighted. Everything is just right for everyone. It’s a beautiful bungalow with a huge garden, and we can see why they enjoy living here so much.”
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