Chelmsford MP sees first-hand how support Starts At Home

Residents and staff at a supported housing service for adults with learning disabilities in Chelmsford were visited by local MP Vicky Ford this Starts At Home Day (30 August).

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Ms Ford, the Member of Parliament for Chelmsford, visited Sanctuary Supported Living’s Nickleby Road service to learn more about the model of support it offers, as well as the National Housing Federation’s Starts At Home campaign.

Run as an annual campaign, the focus this year is to highlight the invaluable work done in the supported housing sector, and the positive effect it has on residents.

Ms Ford spoke with residents to learn about their experiences and how staff encourage and promote independence with them, using personalised support to help them develop the skills they need to live independently.

In addition to meeting with residents, the MP was able to observe an arts and crafts session, and hear more about plans to develop a new music therapy room, which will reach the wider Chelmsford learning disability community by providing inclusion and tackling social isolation.

Simon Clark, Sanctuary’s Group Director – Housing, said: “It was extremely rewarding to be able to welcome Ms Ford to our Nickleby Road service and offer her the chance to speak with our residents.

“Nickleby Road is a first-rate example of the benefits the supported housing model can provide people in developing the skills they need to live independently.”

Ms Ford said: “I was extremely impressed by my visit to Nickleby Road to see the supported housing scheme and listen to many of the residents telling me their stories.

“They explained how living here gives them freedom and independence. The atmosphere was one of great happiness. Thank you so much for inviting me to come and visit.”

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