A NEW complex of flats for autistic adults with complex needs officially opened in Droitwich on Wednesday.
The Burrows supported living scheme is led by Autism West Midlands in partnership with Fortis Living and Worcestershire County Council.
The scheme, the first of its kind in the county, was developed by Fortis Living – part of Platform Housing Group – with additional funding of more than £400,000 from Worcestershire County Council and Homes England.
The complex consists of eight individual flats for adults with complex autism, giving them the chance to live in their own home with 24-hour support.
All of the residents will have their own tenancies and support is to be provided by specialist provider Autism West Midlands.
This project was commissioned by Worcestershire County Council and the authority’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Coun Adrian Hardman, said: “This scheme is truly exciting for us because it really demonstrates our commitment to developing innovative ways to provide support that is person centred and empowers people to achieve their full potential.”
Supported living offers an alternative to residential care, enabling people to rent their home and have more control over the support they receive.
A lot of thought and consideration has also been given to the design of the build to ensure it meets the needs of autistic people.
Further adaptations have been made to each flat to meet the needs of each individual who will be living at the scheme.
Richard Grounds, group commercial director at Fortis Living which built and own the new housing said: “The Burrows is a fantastic example of organisations working together in partnership to produce housing and support of the highest quality. Fortis Living is proud to have played its part in the development of this landmark scheme.”
Autism West Midlands, the support provider for the scheme, are offering new and innovative ways of working to provide support that is person centred and focuses on empowering individuals.
As well as an innovative design, the scheme will offer new and creative ways of receiving support through assistive technology which enables people to receive support in the least restrictive way.
Technology may also monitor and alert to support the management of health conditions such as epilepsy, while adaptations help reduce anxiety and offer people the chance to develop their independence skills.
Phil Middlewood, Chief Executive of Autism West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to be supporting people to move back to Worcestershire to live in their own homes, with their own front door and keys.
“We firmly believe everyone has the right to lead fulfilling, engaging and active lives and we are proud to be part of this new project.
“Autism West Midlands has been supporting autistic adults for over 30 years and our staff and managers are passionate about making a difference for everyone we support.”
At the opening health and social care professionals and the families of those supported through the scheme toured the building and spoke to Autism West Midlands’ specialist support team.