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Flats for adults with complex autism open in Droitwich

(Left to right) Phil Middlewood, Martine Bishop, Justine Morton, Peter Tomlinson, Richard Grounds, Adrian Hardman.
Phil Middlewood, Martine Bishop, Justine Morton, Peter Tomlinson, Richard Grounds, Adrian Hardman officially open the Burrows.
Published Thursday, 20th June 2019

Autism West Midlands in partnership with Fortis Living and Worcestershire County Council celebrated the opening of a new supported living scheme for autistic adults and adults with complex needs.

The scheme was developed by Fortis Living - part of Platform Housing Group, with additional funding of more than £400,000 from Worcestershire County Council and Homes England.

The Burrows is the first scheme of its kind in Worcestershire and consists of eight individual flats for adults with complex autism, giving them the opportunity to live in their own home with 24 hour support. All of the residents will have their own tenancies and support is to be provided by specialist provider Autism West Midlands.  

This exciting project for autistic adults was commissioned by Worcestershire County Council, speaking at the ceremony, Councillor Adrian Hardman – Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:
“This scheme is truly exciting for us because it really demonstrates our commitment to developing innovative ways to provide support that is person centred and empowers people to achieve their full potential.”

Supported living offers an alternative to residential care, enabling people to rent their home and have more control over the support they receive. A lot of thought and consideration has also been given to the design of the build to make sure it meets the needs of autistic people. Further adaptations have been made to each flat to meet the needs of each individual who will be living at the scheme.

Richard Grounds, Group Commercial Director at Fortis Housing, who have built and own the new housing said:
“The Burrows is a fantastic example of organisations working together in partnership to produce housing and support of the highest quality. Fortis Living is proud to have played its part in the development of this landmark scheme.”

Autism West Midlands, who are the support provider for the scheme, are offering new and innovative ways of working to provide support that is person centred and focuses on empowering individuals.

As well as being an innovative design, the scheme will offer new and creative ways of receiving support through the use of assistive technology. This technology aims to enable people to receive support in the least restrictive way. Technology may include monitoring and alerting systems to support the management of health conditions such as epilepsy, adaptations to the environment to help reduce anxiety as well as offer opportunity for people to develop their independence skills.

Also speaking at the event, Phil Middlewood, Chief Executive of Autism West Midlands said:
“We are delighted to be supporting people to move back to Worcestershire to live in their own homes, with their own front door and keys. We firmly believe that everyone has the right to lead fulfilling, engaging and active lives and we are proud to be part of this new project. Autism West Midlands has been supporting autistic adults for over 30 years and our staff and managers are passionate about making a difference for everyone we support.”

Health and social care professionals alongside families of those who will be supported through the scheme had the opportunity to tour the building and speak to the specialist support team from Autism West Midlands, whilst enjoying some light refreshments.