- Date: 30/08/2023
Honeycomb Group adapted home is ‘a lifeline’ for child with life-limiting illness
Starts at Home Day, celebrated each September, is a time to highlight the importance of supported housing on communities across the UK.
At Honeycomb Group, we’re proud to deliver affordable, happy homes for local people through our housing association Staffs Housing. We believe that everyone – no matter what their needs are – deserves somewhere safe and comfortable to live.
With that in mind, we’re shining a light on one of our adapted Staffordshire homes to mark this year’s Starts at Home Day.
In 2020, we partnered with The Donna Louise to create adapted bungalows at our Swallows Nest development in Dresden, Stoke-on-Trent. We were keen to join forces with an incredible local charity to directly support children with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.
The Donna Louise team were with us every step of the way, making sure the homes were designed correctly for the residents who would be moving in. That included wider doors and bigger rooms for medical equipment, as well as French doors in the children’s bedrooms for easy access to outdoor space.
Some of the first residents to move in were Poppy, Wayne and their two sons, including Ruben, who has a muscle wasting condition. The family had previously privately rented another house, but steep stairs and other problems made day-to-day life difficult and impractical.
(Pictured: Wayne and Poppy)
Since moving into their bungalow, Poppy has called it ‘a lifeline,’ adding that it has given Ruben freedom and independence, as well as peace of mind for the rest of the family.
Poppy shared the family’s story, and explained what the house move has meant to them:
“We found out that Ruben had a muscle wasting condition. We weren’t coping and didn’t know what to do, so we were introduced to the Donna Louise Trust. There we were given our own social worker and lots of support.
"Our old house had steep stairs and wasn’t practical for Ruben. We had to find a home suitable for his needs before his condition got worse, but it had to be affordable too.
“It wasn’t an easy task. We found that there aren’t many affordable adapted family homes. Our social worker told us about a bungalow at Swallows Nest, being built by Staffs Housing. They were fully adapted for wheelchair access and had no steep stairs!
“Moving in gave Ruben the independence he wanted and needed. Here he can get around on his own, go to the toilet independently and access the garden to play with his brother.”
Poppy and Wayne love that the three-bed bungalow is now their family home, with space that they can all enjoy, including Ruben’s brother too.
Poppy continued: “It’s been great moving here because not only is it perfect for Ruben, but it’s got three-bedrooms which means we’ve been able to make it our family home.
“We have two children and although they can legally still share a bedroom, it’s not practical because of Ruben’s condition. His sleeping pattern and support needs would make it hard on his brother. Being able to give them both their own space has made a world of difference.
“If we hadn’t moved in when we did, we would’ve struggled. We’re so relieved and feel like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders.”