We support the National Housing Federation’s supported living campaign, Starts at Home, celebrating the benefits of supported housing.

We invited Councillor Samara Barnes to visit one of our supported living schemes in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, as she is a local Rossendale councillor and a county councillor. Samara met with two of our tenants, Jonathan and Peter, and our RWP Managing Director Les Warren, along with the Mencap support staff team.

Both Jonathan and Peter have a learning disability but live independently with support in their bungalow. They have lived at the property for six years and are very settled in their community.

Samara welcomed the opportunity to meet them to see the positive impact of supported living first-hand.

“It’s been an absolute joy to visit the housing scheme today,” says Samara. “The tenants get on so well with the staff; it’s such a homely place to be. Jonathan and Peter are very happy and genuinely feel they are part of their community.”

As a councillor at both local and county level, Samara knows that when it comes to making decisions about housing, it’s vital that development and planning is inclusive and everyone’s view should be taken into account.

“It’s important for councillors to come and visit homes like these to know who is living in their area. When decisions are being made it’s important that all voices are heard,” she says.

The supported housing sector is diverse in the needs it meets, so RWP makes every effort to emphasise the work that we do with adults with learning disabilities and autistic people.

RWP Managing Director Les Warren says: “We play a crucial role with our housing because we facilitate connections for people, such as with their families, their communities and their friends. We’re ensuring they live independently and make their own choices. Let’s not forget that the alternative to what we provide can be residential care, where choices are limited and the setting more regimented.”

Jonathan loves his home and feels very settled. “I love the view from the kitchen window!” he says.

With support Jonathan and Peter can be independent. The support staff help them to do housework, like loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry. “They help us when we go out,” says Jonathan. “I like to go to church and the day centre and clubs. I also love gardening and watering the plants.”

Peter and Jonathan get along well and have been good friends for many years. “We first met at the day centre,” says Jonathan. “We have a lot of fun and we go on holiday together. Recently we went to south Wales and Blackpool!”

Watch our video of the visit here


You can find our more about the Starts At Home Day campaign here