A ‘home-from-home’ for children with disabilities and complex medical health issues has opened up in Congleton
Up to eight young people can stay at the specially-adapted home at any one time, providing guardians with a much-needed break away from their responsibilities.
The home has been jointly developed and funded by Cheshire East Council, Plus Dane Housing Association and a local specialist carer.
Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member in charge of children and families, said the home represented a milestone for all involved and was aimed at putting our young residents first.
She said: “This is a wonderful project, created by people coming together with a shared vision, and it has finally been realised.
“Eight children, with complex care needs, can have a wonderfully comfortable time here, while carers or guardians have some much-needed respite.
“Caring for a child with disabilities or complex care needs is incredibly hard work and we, as a Council, wanted to address the added pressure this places on families.”
Renovations to the house started last September, and were completed four months later at a total cost of £75,000.
There is a designated bedroom downstairs with an adapted bed and lifting hoist and adjoining shower wet room.
There is also a sensory room for all children with visual impairments or children who are not mobile. The house also offers a safe garden area for the children to play in.
Specialist carer Jenny Goodwin created the vision for a respite home at her property after the amazing satisfaction she received caring for one child.
She said: “This is a wonderful ‘home-from-home’ environment and will be of huge benefit to the children, as well as providing respite and peace of mind to the parents, whose children have such complex needs.
“Cheshire East Council and Plus Dane have supported me throughout this project and the Council’s fostering team has even provided us with a wheelchair- accessible vehicle, for which I’m really grateful.”
Sharon Smith, support services manager at Plus Dane, said when they met Jenny they were instantly keen to help.
She said: “We immediately saw a fantastic opportunity to provide bespoke facilities for children, with very specific needs, who traditionally travel out of the county for specialist respite care.
“We were able to completely redesign the downstairs of the property and acquire more land to create a bigger garden for the children, and we are absolutely delighted with how the project has turned out.
“Having this amazing new facility will ensure that Cheshire East Council’s fostering service can offer a significant resource for children with complex health needs.”