2019 has been Livability’s year for throwing a big party, with three residential services celebrating decades of care and support for disabled adults.
All three services celebrating big birthdays – Livability York House in Shrewsbury, celebrating 30 years, Hallgate in Hexham with 25 years and Beaumont Court in Prudhoe, 20 – were launched by the parents of disabled young people, who wanted their children to benefit from living away from home. Motivated by a strong Christian ethos, these homes have created vibrant family-type environments, where new faces have joined the original residents, now in their 50s upwards.
Livability York House welcomed nearly 40 guests and celebrated in style with a garden party. The six residents planned the celebration, with support, and got stuck in with preparing food, beautifying the garden and making decorations for the day. Residents Paul and Gaynor organised a book sale with the local church, where they have close ties, and made nearly £180 which went towards funding the party. Local friends provided live music.
Livability York House is a sociable and community-minded place, says manager John Roberts: Paul delivers the church magazine locally, Stephen carries out churchwarden duties at church and everyone gets involved in donating fruit from their orchard at harvest time. Paul’s verdict on the birthday celebration? ‘I like having parties and I like people visiting my home.’
‘It is a privilege to be associated with York House,’ says John. ‘It’s a residential home but resembles more of a supported living feel. Myra, our longest serving worker, has been here in just about every capacity since the start. The home was built through God’s love and that spirit runs through the building. All the residents bring so much to their home as well as their community and long may this continue.’
Two hundred miles away, people at Livability North East put on their party shoes for a shared celebration for Livability Hallgate and Livability Beaumont Court. ‘Everyone pulled together to make the party happen,’ says service manager Vicki Sharpe. ‘One of the parents came out of retirement to DJ the disco, people we support helped make the food and a contact made amazing Livability cakes. Some of the people we support spoke and thanked everyone for coming.’
Staff member Judy Carson, who has worked at Livability Hallgate for 14 years, felt the party was a moment to treasure: ‘The really special thing about the celebrations was everybody joining together and really enjoying the event. Involving the people we support in the cooking was rewarding as they were really proud of their efforts and the fact it was for their party.’ Lilian, who lives at Livability Hallgate says: ‘I like my flat at Hallgate, I like living in Hexham and I’m happy!’
For Judy, who has worked with some of the Livablity Hallgate and Livability Beaumont Court clients for over 35 years in other settings, Livability’s support is outstanding: ‘l have seen many changes over the years and Livability have been the most positive, person-centred and rewarding when it comes to making things achievable for our clients. Promoting their independence and supporting them to achieve their life goals gives me a boost that we really are making a difference to their lives.’
Having consistent support from these longstanding, high-quality services is reassuring for family members. Says mum Carole : ‘This service is not a one-off. I know when I’m not around anymore, Angie will be looked after.’