Supporting young people who are autistic or have physical or learning disabilities to live independently is so important. I recently visited Bristol City Council’s new and innovative Addison Apartments in North Bristol which reaffirmed this for me.
The development of five, affordable homes at Addison Apartments, Sea Mills features fully adapted, self-contained flats designed to meet the housing and support needs of young people with complex physical and learning disabilities. The apartments, completed by the council’s Housing Delivery Team in partnership with Adult Social Care services, enable young people to live as independently as possible, in the right environment adapted to meet their individual needs.
Three of the new apartments are now home to three young people. They are homes for life, with no end of tenancy – the choice to move rests with the tenants and their families. Delivered as part of the council’s Better Lives at Home programme and offered at affordable social rent levels, the apartments offer so much more than a roof over the heads of these young people. They are specially designed to maximise tenants’ independence and offer easy access to local shops, parks and transport links. It’s anticipated the final two tenants will move in by the end of the year.
During the tour with local ward Councillor Donald Alexander we saw the many features in the apartments that support residents’ needs. This includes the state-of-the-art nurse call systems, which residents can use to urgently alert onsite staff if they need help, these also link to emergency and detection devices. There are also specialist, adaptable kitchens and bathrooms, and an integrated track and hoist system throughout each apartment. The communal lounge and kitchen area encourage residents to socialise, while the beautiful communal gardens will undoubtedly be a popular feature and play a part in enabling people with disabilities to live well in their community. Councillor Alexander is also working with local community organisations to offer opportunities to these new Sea Mills residents.
Milestones, a local care and support provider, operate the buildings and have a 24/7 presence, offering residents reassurance that help is on hand should they need it. This is a strong example of a fantastic partnership with a shared vision.
I’m incredibly proud of this initiative, which is already making a huge difference to some Bristol residents, who are most in need of our support, and will be a model we hope to copy elsewhere in the city in future.