The Minister for Communities and Local Government and MP for Bath Don Foster has launched a dedicated respite service for people with learning disabilities and autism. The Minister saw first-hand how the right housing and community inclusion can impact quality of life and enable greater independence.
Visiting Newton House, a short break and respite service in Bath and operated by the not-for-profit social care provider Dimensions, the Minister heard about the person-centred approach that is used to give people choice and control over their support and how they live.
Speaking about his visit Don Foster said: “Where people live is fundamental to how they experience life. The people I have met today want to be a part of their community and being able to participate in local life, such as shopping, going to the cinema and having a local voice helps to connect people who can otherwise feel isolated and cut off.
“Supporting the housing needs of our society’s most vulnerable people is fundamental to helping people achieve greater independence, confidence and self-esteem. Newton House is a positive example of how a housing and social care provider is working together with people to design, develop and deliver outcomes that make a difference.
“My department is committed to developing a social housing market that understands and meets the needs of people that traditionally have found it more difficult to access suitable housing. Small adaptations can make a big difference and the private rented sector as well as developers can play a crucial role in transforming the lives and experiences of people with learning disabilities and autism.”
Luke Joy-Smith Operations Director for the South West said: “At Dimensions we are widely recognised for our work in delivering personalised services that enable people to realise their potential. We have seen the positive impact of shifting the traditional balance of power from the person providing support to the person being supported.
“People we support have told us that access to housing and participation in their community are vital to their quality of life and wellbeing. At Newton House, every person has their stay built around their needs and wishes. There is a wide choice of activities for people to participate in at Newton House but also within the local community.
“As an organisation our priority is to enable people to have choice and control over where and how they live and to support them to feel part of local life.”
Find out more
Dimensions is a specialist not-for-profit provider of support for people with learning disabilities and autism. It supports around 3,000 people across England and Wales. www.dimensions.uk.org/newtonhouse