Lifeways and Inclusion partnership helps create emergency accommodation during Covid-19 crisis
Earlier this year, Lifeways were looking forward to opening the doors on a brand new 18 apartment development in Chatteris called Barber Gardens, designed to provide vital homes and support for people with learning disabilities and autism looking for specialist help to live independently.
With the opening delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Lifeways opened discussions with Cambridgeshire County Council to see if there was anything they could do to help during this difficult time. With the need to free up hospital beds a priority (as outlined in the Department of Health and Social Care’s recently published ‘COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements’) all parties were keen to work together to help alleviate the pressures on the NHS.
As a direct response to this, and in less than 3 weeks, Lifeways worked together with the owners Triple Point, Inclusion Housing CIC and Cambridgeshire County Council, to transform Barber Gardens into a rapid response accommodation unit that can be used to house vulnerable people during the pandemic. The council has taken full responsibility for the service for an initial 3-month period, with Lifeways providing all the support, operational staff and resources for those moving in.
The flexible accommodation, comprising of individual flats and bungalows, offers a real lifeline for vulnerable people who otherwise might have remained in hospital occupying urgently needed hospital beds, or for anyone requiring support and currently living with their parents who are in a high risk category and need to be shielded. It’s also perfect for any high risk individuals who may need to self-isolate as all the apartments are fully self-contained.
Lifeways worked with the local care management teams to ensure a smooth admission process into the service, and the first person, a young man with autism, moved in on Monday 20th April. Julie Douglas, the Area Manager and Autism Accredited Lead for Lifeways, has made information and support available to help people to understand the importance of keeping safe during COVID-19.
As a leading provider of supported living with over 25 years’ experience of supporting people with varied and often complex needs, Lifeways is well positioned to provide immediate support and is working closely with social workers and NHS discharge teams to move more people in by the end of the week.
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Inclusion Housing is a community interest company; a private company limited by guarantee without share capital, incorporated in England & Wales; company number: 06169583, company office address: 106 Heworth Green, York, YO31 7TQ. Inclusion Housing is a member of the National Housing Federation and regulated by the Community Interest Companies Office and the Homes & Communities Agency; 00146316, 06169583 & 4662, respectively.