New build for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties

Christchurch Mail - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MONIQUE STEELE

A Can­ter­bury char­ity is fundrais­ing for a sec­ond ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­ity to en­able peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to live in­de­pen­dently. Con­duc­tive Ed­u­ca­tion Can­ter­bury (CEC) is rais­ing funds for the de­mo­li­tion and re­build of a new tran­si­tional home for peo­ple liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties.

Two houses sit on the CEC’s prop­erty in Waltham, the ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­ity and an ‘‘old dunger’’. This prop­erty will be de­mol­ished and re­built to home five peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties tran­si­tion­ing into in­de­pen­dent flat­ting life.

CEC na­tional co­or­di­na­tor Sally Thomas said the needs of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties were chang­ing. She said ev­ery­body had dreams of in­de­pen­dent liv­ing.

The new fa­cil­ity would be a tran­si­tional ac­com­mo­da­tion for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to learn the skills needed to live alone while in a sup­port­ive en­vi­ron­ment, she said.

‘‘It’s a re­ally big vi­sion but a re­ally im­por­tant one. We need to think be­yond the peo­ple we’re cur­rently sup­port­ing and what they need for the fu­ture.’’

Olivia Barr lives at home with her fam­ily but is try­ing to up­skill her­self so she can even­tu­ally move out. Busy jug­gling the gym, her part-time job and her so­cial life, the 25-year-old with cere­bral palsy has not let her dis­abil­ity get in the way of liv­ing her life.

‘‘I can see my­self flat­ting in the fu­ture,’’ she said. ‘‘I can al­ready cook with some as­sis­tance, but I would like to be able to man­age house­hold ex­penses and how I cal­cu­late this. Learn how to pay power, in­ter­net and phone bills.

‘‘A house where I could learn how to live in­de­pen­dently would be great as it is out­side of my home en­vi­ron­ment and com­fort zone.’’

The first CEC hous­ing project, fin­ished in 2016, is leased to clients at Brack­en­ridge. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Pip Ste­wart said there was a de­mand amongst adults and young adults liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties to live in­de­pen­dently whilst in a com­mu­nity.

‘‘Peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and autism have dreams and as­pi­ra­tions like any­body else. Some times they need some help to achieve those and this home would be help­ful in mak­ing that hap­pen.’’

Olivia Barr, 25.

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