New Directions welcomed BBC radio journalist Jo Tidman to Richmond Court during Learning Disability Week this June for a close-up view of our charity’s supported living accommodation. Jo is BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio’s in-depth reporter for their breakfast show presented by Trish Adudu. Jo was given a guided tour of the communal areas at Richmond Court, around the garden and inside one of the flats.
Jo then spoke with Tina, who is supported by New Directions, in her own home about what having her own flat means to her and what the support she receives enables her to do. She was also invited to visit Gateway Court where she met and interviewed Registered Manager Carol Payne for further information about the provision of our services in supported living. Jo gathered a combination of audio and visual material which will be broadcast on the BBC radio show and on their digital media in the future.
As part of their continued support for our charity, Rugby Group Benevolent Fund Trustee, Ian Southcott presented New Directions with a cheque for £10,000 toward the sensory garden at our latest supported living development, Richmond Court. This garden will provide the people who live there with the ability to engage in activities that stimulate the senses; such as gardening, exploring nature and enjoying the attractive environment designed for accessibility to everyone’s needs. The community, multi-sensory garden will be an experience to be enjoyed by tenants and visitors alike.
The sensory garden will include structures and features that will heighten the senses of sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. It will consist of paved areas, raised beds for flowers, herbs and vegetables, a water feature, wind and wall chimes, interactive materials, mosaics and wall art. Supported living at Richmond Court with the addition of this interactive garden will develop independence skills, build positive relationships and give choices to tenants so that they can live their lives the way they want to.
Ian Southcott said, “This is the second grant we have had the pleasure in providing to New Directions (Rugby) in the past couple of years. The work they do is fantastic and you only have to visit their various premises to see the love and support extended to the residents.”
Established in 1955, The Rugby Group Benevolent Fund supports employees, previous employees of Rugby Cement and their dependants. It has extended its interests over the years to include community projects and charitable causes such as New Directions. These beneficiaries are situated near to where Rugby Cement plants once operated. Rugby Cement plants have now closed or have been absorbed by Cemex UK.
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.”