Through its work providing support and respite for children and young people from across Greater Manchester, Fancis House became concerned about the social as well as the medical needs of the children in their care as they move into adulthood and face the difficulties of ordinary living.
Reverend David Ireland, Chief Executive at Francis House, explained that this experience “helped us identify another need, which is somewhere permanent for young people to live whose living conditions are inadequate. They might be in that situation, for example, because their parents, who were their carers, are now elderly, moved to other parts of the country or have died.”
The new service will offer much needed accommodation to young people aged 18 or over, while providing enhanced care in a homely environment. The pilot scheme will also provide tailored nursing, advocacy, emotional care, respite, end of life care and bereavement support.
The house, called 463, will offer companionship, dignity, and respect in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere and as far away from an institutional feel as possible.
463 is the number of an ordinary semi-detached property, on an ordinary street in Didsbury. Earlier this month the first residents moved in, including Kyle Wells. Kyle, who will continue to use Francis House for respite, commented: “463 gives me the chance to live independently, and the opportunity to make my own decisions about my life.”
The house was previously adapted by Francis House prior to opening additional respite provision at the hospice, and has been fitted with lifts, hoists and tracking to allow young adults with limited mobility, free movement throughout the house and to live as independently as possible.
The Caritas care policy is based on a ‘social’ and ‘rights’ model of disability, which emphasises the need for person-centred approaches focusing on individual needs rather than medical diagnosis alone. The model raises awareness within the community to support people with disability.
Caritas is aware that there are many challenges facing the new project, including funding. The hope is that funding will come from social services and health budgets but there will still be shortfalls and Caritas will be asking people throughout the Diocese of Salford to help fundraise for this important service.