Staffs Housing, part of Honeycomb Group, has developed two adapted bungalows to help support children with life-limiting illnesses and their families, whose homes are no longer suitable for their needs.
Debbie Askey works for The Donna Louise Trust as a care coordination and family support team manager. She said: “There’s a lots of families who we support who live in a home that’s not adaptable.
“This means the families can’t move freely around their home, sometimes children are trapped in their bedrooms and they can’t access the rest of the house or they can’t get out into the garden.
“When we see how they struggle and how long sometimes they have to wait for a suitable place, and bearing in mind that our children and young people sometimes don’t have a lot of time, we need to be responsive and fill that need as quickly as possible.
“These bungalows that have been created mean that they can be together as a family, they can live normally and enjoy what time they have.”
The two bungalows have been developed as part of a larger bungalow development in Newstead, on the former Swallows Nest pub, alongside eight two bed bungalows.
They have been designed specially with the needs of the families in mind, and staff at The Donna Louise and supported families had an input into the design process.
Alongside wider doors and entrance hall, all the other rooms have enough space for wheel chairs in a lie down position and the children’s bedroom is bigger to make space for medical equipment and has a knock out wall into the wet room, if a hoist is required in the future. The garden patio can also be accessed by French doors from both the children’s bedroom and living room, giving plenty of access to the outside.
Marshall Fear, Head of Enterprise and Growth at Honeycomb Group, said: “The bungalows are a great example of how we are committed to delivering the “difficult stuff” in order to provide the diverse house types that the local community require.
“Although there is high demand for bungalows from older people and others with specific needs, very few one storey homes are being developed because they tend to take up more land.
“Having been informed by the local council about Honeycomb’s local focus and ability make things happen, The Donna Louise approached us to see if we could help provide bungalows for families with children who are currently living in poor and inappropriate homes. We were determined to rise to the challenge.”
The bungalows have been developed with support from Homes England and are due to be completed by Spring 2020. Find out more about the Newstead development here.