Rory Stewart MP has visited a new supported living facility at Churchrigg, on the outskirts of Wigton. Churchrigg is a converted farmhouse and barns that has been restored and adapted by the Graham family to create a functional home which meets the needs of individuals with a range of disabilities. The Graham’s primary aim was to provide an opportunity for supported living for their daughter who has a learning disability, in her local area, with a 24 hour staff team that can meet her needs and aspirations for a fulfilled and meaningful life, but the development has been designed to accommodate six individuals in total.
Residents Robyn and Hazel gave Rory a tour of the property, which comprises a fully fitted kitchen, dining room, utility room and games area, two large living rooms, a garden, an orchard and six en-suite bedrooms, as well as staff accommodation and an office. Residents have their own tenancy agreement and private space with full access to all communal areas. The property is managed by New Foundations, a non-profit registered provider of social housing for adults with learning disabilities and or physical disabilities, and a dedicated team of staff offering 24 hour support is provided by Chrysalis.
Rory was told how individuals living at Churchrigg are supported to engage in a range of community activities, with a focus on developing skills and maintaining social contacts. Activities include: independent living skills, community safety, creative arts, music, drama, ceramics horticulture, sensory stimulation, sailing, horse riding, fell walking, cycling, working in the Chrysalis social enterprise cafe and pre-employment skills. Chrysalis also provide a range of activities at evenings and weekends as part of their outreach service. They also work closely with residents in the home setting to develop robust, person-centred plans that encompass all areas of life and ensure individuals have the opportunity to make choices about the options available to them.
Chrysalis Chief Executive Claire Doherty who helped to show Rory around said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals to increase their independence in their first home. Chrysalis is thrilled to be providing a range of tailored support that will enable individuals to flourish”.
Rory Stewart MP said: “Churchrigg is a very special home with a wonderful atmosphere. I was so impressed by the incredibly high standard of the facility and the staff, and the unique, family environment that has been created. This is a brilliant case study for successful supported living schemes and I hope to see more highly attractive, well equipped and well run supported living facilities like Churchrigg appearing across Cumbria in the coming years. I was so pleased to see Robyn and Hazel happy in their beautiful new home and I hope that Cumbria County Council will give their full support to innovative schemes like this, which are in incredibly high demand.”