Five new state-of-the-art self-contained flats, designed to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges, are to open in Kent on April 17.

The flats at Holly Lodge in Hildenborough, have been tailor-made for each tenant and fitted with assistive technology to give them greater independence and safety.

These flats have been developed by mcch society ltd, a charity that supports people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs across southeast England, in consultation with challenging behaviour specialists, Kent County Council (KCC), mcch support staff, families, occupational therapists and support partner Avenues Group.

Reducing risks

David Holt, mcch’s head of technical services, said: “To reduce the risk of damage and harm to tenants, mcch has incorporated features such as soft impact finishes to curved walls, removable magnetic door handles for kitchen units and dimmable recessed mood lighting. Mindful to keep disruptions to the tenants as minimal as possible, mcch moved all utility access panels to outside the buildings, which will limit the need for contractors to come into the tenant’s flat.”

In addition to managing this development, mcch will also provide support to the tenants, together with Avenues Group, which will enable residents to access a highly-trained team and specialists from two organisations that have expertise in challenging behaviour.

Penny Southern, KCC’s director of learning disability/mental health, said: “Holly Lodge is an exciting project which we hope will transform the lives of its tenants. Too often, people with challenging behaviour cannot get the individual, tailor-made support they need in traditional residential homes so KCC is looking at ways to do things differently.

“Research shows giving people with learning disabilities more control over their environments and more personalised support results in improvements in their behaviour as well as quality of life. This has been the driving force of the partners behind this innovative new home. Although this project is on a small-scale, it will have a big impact on the quality of life of the disabled people who live there.”