parkhouseA new service has opened that gives young people with learning disabilities the opportunity to live independently in the community in Weymouth.

Park House offers bedrooms for up to seven people aged 18-25 over three floors with en-suite or shared facilities, a large kitchen-diner, lounge and good-sized garden. Anyone making the transition from residential schools, colleges, or family homes to living independently for the first time will be welcome at Park House.

It is located within walking distance of the seafront and the town centre. The facility is run by independent care provider Regard and offers round-the-clock care and support.
Sarah Kington, manager of Park House, said: “The house has been completely refurbished and is beautifully decorated. Everything is fresh and new and with a real home-from-home atmosphere.”

Utilising technology

The aim of the service is to support the residents to become more independent in all areas of their lives. Each resident will have a bespoke support plan with long-term targets separated into small, achievable goals.

Many of the residents do no communicate conventionally, so among the non-verbal strategies employed at Park House are iPads which can, for example, give residents the freedom to choose their own bedroom scheme for using the tablet’s colour palette.

Regional director Daun Tattersall says: “We utilise technology to allow young people to make their thoughts and wishes known in ways that make sense to them using a ‘communications menu’ from which they can make selections to help them express themselves effectively.”

In addition, appropriate sensory equipment has been provided to make the living environment as enjoyable as possible. For example, Park House has a garden planted with scented flowers and herbs such as lavender and items such as bean bag chairs for relaxation.

The seven young people living at Park House will be encouraged to take part in social and recreational activities. They will receive help to seek voluntary or paid employment and have their say in how their home is run at regular meetings and even have the chance to select new members of staff.

For more information, visit: www.regard.co.uk/houses/south-park-house