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Tenants chose their new accessible shiny kitchen


Alaine (pictured) and her friends Kelly and Jane were delighted to find out their tired kitchen was due to be replaced. Through the Planned Maintenance Programme they chose a shiny new one which was designed for Alaine to use in her wheelchair.

“The ladies hardly used the kitchen before. Alaine uses a wheelchair so she couldn’t help prepare the food as it wasn’t accessible for her,” says Shirley Burton, scheme manager at Mencap.

“The kitchen was chosen by the ladies. Together they all agreed on the tiling, the style of kitchen and the colour through Golden Lane Housing’s kitchen choices brochure. The units are a lovely colour, but they are unusual. It’s not your standard kitchen, and the tiles and work surfaces really tie it all in. They got so excited choosing everything.

The refurbishment was carried out whilst the ladies were on holiday in Devon. The look on everyone’s face when they returned home was priceless. They were so happy with it and now it’s transformed the area into a really communal space. It’s now the hub of the house.

What a difference! It’s great to see Alaine preparing her own salad on the lowered work surface to go with her lunch. Jane gets the cutlery from the drawer for everyone. This did not happen before with the old kitchen as it was not suitable for the ladies. Alaine can now get ingredients off the shelf thanks to the carousel unit. We now have a side opening door to the oven which also helps Alaine to use the oven to cook her meals herself.”

Kelly says, “I really like our new kitchen, it has deep drawers to store the pots and pans and also the recycling bin drawer which we never had before. Every day of the week we have different evening meals. We have this on our menu board, and it can change if the weather is nice… we have a BBQ instead, and we had our first one last night!”

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