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Reach Learning Disability makes At Home In My Community appeal for Southwell accommodation

A charity needs the public’s help in raising £250,000 towards creating accommodation for people with learning disabilities.

Reach Learning Disability, with centres in Newark and Southwell, is making its At Home In My Community appeal in the hope of raising enough money to build accommodation for 12 people with learning disabilities in Southwell.

Reach Learning Disability clients getting green-fingered in the garden. (51030900)
Reach Learning Disability clients getting green-fingered in the garden. (51030900)

Reach has already amassed more than £1m for the project through donations, but needs this final push to make it a reality.

It says its aim is to create a home in the true sense of the word — not a care home; but a home rooted in the community that gives tenants the opportunity to enjoy life as active, engaged and happy citizens.

Typical bedroom layout. (51030859)
Typical bedroom layout. (51030859)

“Families delay decisions about the future because there simply is no acceptable alternative,” reads Reach’s website.

Design of the accommodation. Credit: Allan Joyce Architects (51031117)
Design of the accommodation. Credit: Allan Joyce Architects (51031117)

“Inevitably, alternatives must be found due to parental illness or death. People with learning disabilities often find they must move away from their community to new locations, losing friends, family and support in one go, sometimes facing multiple moves.

“In rural localities like Southwell, affordable accommodation options are especially limited. It has not been easy to make progress with our accommodation plans, but with families facing crisis situations, we have kept on seeking creative solutions.”

In 2018, Reach was gifted land and property on a large housing development site in Southwell, which set plans for accommodation in motion.

All necessary permissions and designs are now in place and charity clients, families and Reach care staff have shared their views on what makes a welcoming home.

There would be two linked houses catering for six tenants each; a specification that exceeds what is normally available to people with learning disabilities, including well-proportioned rooms and en-suite facilities; environmentally sustainable operation utilising innovative eco-technology with low maintenance and running costs; and communal areas for socialising and relaxation.

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