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Supporting people with learning disabilities to live in their own home

10th December 2021

It is almost 60 years since our founder Elizabeth FitzRoy fought to keep her son Michael out of institutions and in a real home. Everyone deserves a fulfilled life with love, choice and independence to be happy, healthy and at home. We still hold these values and beliefs right at the heart of our services. Institutionalised care must be closed and replaced with loving homes where people can thrive and flourish.

At FitzRoy we believe people with learning disabilities should have access to therapeutic independent living, local to their families and community.

We work with several local authorities on providing an alternative to institutions and are proud of what we have achieved, particularly in Nottinghamshire and Norfolk with our specialist supported living and support at home services.

Charlotte proves how supported living can be the answer. She has her own bungalow, and up to two staff supporting her at any one time. Without this care, she could not manage in her own home, but now she is thriving, making choices about her life, and doing all the things she enjoys.

Charlotte is supported to live independently, making herself meals, making choices about how her home is decorated and furnished, and carrying out all the day to day tasks – including housework – that many of us take for granted.

The Norfolk Support at Home service has a team of staff visiting 32 people with learning disabilities and autism in their own homes across Norfolk, helping them with a range of tasks from meal planning, shopping and cooking or appointments and paperwork. All of these seemingly small tasks can make a huge difference between someone living in their own home, or losing their tenancy.

Service manager Ginny said:

Depending on what level of support the person needs, we could be supporting them for three hours a week for a social activity or for 24 hours a day so they can remain in their own home.

We support couples to manage and maintain their personal relationships and great friendships have blossomed over the years. The people we support tell us what they want to do and how they want to live their lives independently, and we offer additional support to help them achieve their goals.

As a charity, FitzRoy also benefit from the ability to fundraise for extras that only enhance the support we are able to offer. Deputy manager Hannah recently suggested FitzRoy as a possible recipient of local MP Duncan Baker’s fundraising when he ran the London Marathon. Hannah’s bid was successful and the team recently received an amazing £1,219 from Duncan Baker’s fundraising, as well as a further £250 from the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust.

Hannah said; This is wonderful news. We usually hold parties and get togethers for all the people we support – it is a great opportunity for them to make new friends, and catch up with old friends too. We haven’t been able to do this over the last 18 months because of covid, so we are looking forward to planning a huge celebration when it is safe, to make up for the ones we have missed. They all really love our parties and we always have a great turn out. We have created some great friendships through parties, they exchange phone numbers then arrange to meet up.