SeeAbility is a registered charity that seeks to promote better lives for people with sight loss and multiple disabilities. The people they support may have a combination of complex needs in addition to sight loss such as a severe learning disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or physical and/or mental health difficulties.
With a range of adapted housing and support in 21 locations across the south of England, SeeAbility also offer a range of specialist therapeutic services to their users such as rehabilitation, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy which help those affected to maintain and develop the skills they have and improve the quality of lives.
In 2004 ACT supported the building of Windmill Court in Honiton, Devon where 8 own rented, self-contained flats are home to young adults who require 24 hour support. 2009 saw a donation towards equipment at their state of the art supported living site in Horley, Surrey, Bradbury House, which today is home to 6 adults who are living independently.
SeeAbility’s latest project has been the creation of a dedicated dining area at their residential nursing home, Heather House in Tadley, Hampshire. Heather House is home to 16 disabled young men and women aged from 16-35 who have long term, life limiting conditions. Heather House is also the only dedicated nursing facility in the UK focusing on Juvenile Batten Disease (JBD), a cruel, rare and life limiting illness that occurs in children and adults worldwide.
Being able to feed oneself is a huge part of maintaining personal dignity. An individual with JBD may arrive at Heather House with a vision impairment (the initial symptom) and be able to walk and talk but in the latter stages of the disease they will be unable to sit unaided, speak or swallow their food safely. Some of the individuals supported at Heather House have already lost their ability to eat and drink independently.
Having reviewed their existing space, SeeAbility took the decision to convert an existing commercial kitchen into a dedicated dining room. The newly created, peaceful space will allow SeeAbility’s specialist nursing staff to support individuals during meal times in an intimate and private space making feeding their clients a more pleasurable experience for them in a safe environment. ACT’s pledge of £10K has helped them to realise their vision and create a beautiful space (see picture top left).