Lennon Court is the new supported living service for disabled people opened and established in Rugby by New Directions. This accommodation and outreach service supports 11 learning disabled people in their own home. The individuals supported by a dedicated staff team based at Lennon Court are encouraged to increase their skills and independence and take part in the local community. This outcome promotes feelings of inclusion and acceptance and provides a stepping stone to living the lives they want to live by taking control and making choices.
The individuals living at Lennon Court flats where staff provide structure, guidance, prompting or reminders, benefits advice and housing support to tenants. The staff have an open-door strategy in the office where people that live there can come to find direction, ask questions and advice. People supported are inspired and motivated to find work in retail, as a cleaner at two jobs and learning how to use computers to help them into work or volunteering. New Directions began working with tenants at Lennon Court and its community in December 2016. The charity’s staff were soon accepted by the people that live there and its support services were welcomed as tenants became more used to the staff and built trust. New Directions staff supported one tenant at Lennon Court, every step of the way toward independent living in her new home in the community and now one more is also making the move. Some of the tenants were familiar to New Directions as they attend its day activities and opportunities service Community Choices Network. This combination creates an overlap of complimentary services and a holistic approach to the support provided by New Directions’ staff.
Manager Debbie Dale said, “New Directions actively encourages the people we support at Lennon Court and in the community to look at the skills and strengths that indicate the right support package for them. They may require our services on one particular day for one thing, or they may need to have someone with them all the time. We provide tenants with a safe and supportive environment at Lennon Court where they can thrive and live a thoroughly involved life while preparing them to live independently if they choose to.”
Tina moved into one of New Directions’ supported living flats at the end of April 2017. Tina lives independently with support staff available to help with shopping, daily tasks, cleaning and personal care.
Tina said, “The flat here is 100% better than the bedsit that I was living in, I now have a massive bathroom and a separate bedroom. You can be yourself here and it is comforting that the staff are about. I like to get together with everyone else in the communal room, it’s nice. When you want time to yourself you can go to your flat. I have settled in and I like the nice walk to the local supermarket. I have made new friends and its easy to visit my friends from college and the clubs that I go to. The views from my room are lovely and there is a lot of light. I am looking forward to the summer and spending time in the garden getting together with everyone.”
Ellen who is supported by New Directions at the charity’s day activities service is attending a course called ‘Ready for Employment’ at her local college for three days a week. She finishes the course at the end of June and would like to find work helping people. Ellen will be assessed on her coursework and has been studying all about citizenship.
Ellen said, “I have made a lot of friends at college and that is the best thing. The college staff are helpful and I like my tutor. I think the course will help me to find a job. I am enjoying going to New Directions day activities in horse riding, drama and dancing on the days I am not in college, it gives me more confidence. It’s a bit scary leaving college but I have the best keyworker at New Directions. I think finding a job will be a challenge so I am glad that New Directions will be supporting me to find work in the future.”