Tanya Whittworth outside the new property

Housing association, Moat, has been working closely with developer Countryside, Ashford Borough Council and the Occupational Therapy Services to build a property with specialised adaptations for a family with three children under ten, two of whom have disabilities.

After years spent on the housing register waiting for a suitable home, the Whittworth family of Smarden has been provided with much-needed adaptations to support the care needs of the children and enhance their quality of life.

Now the family has moved in, Ms Tanya Whittworth has found day-to-day household activities easier and more accessible: This house has made such a difference to our lives. There’s so much more space here: each of the children have their own bedroom, it’s wide enough to push the wheelchair around and the adaptations have made life much easier.

Tanya Whittworth at the lift Photo: ADC

“We used to have to carry the boys upstairs and I couldn’t even bath the children – the lift, wet rooms and hoist have genuinely been life changing.

The family were already living in the village in a two-bedroom house that was not suitable for refurbishment to meet their needs. Moat and Countryside worked with all parties to identify what changes would be required by the family and how best to carry them out.

The tailored features include a stairlift, a through-floor lift which is accessible for both children, a hoist from the front of the bedroom to the bathroom and a height adjustable shower stretcher. Countryside also donated a medical bed to assist the family with more comfortable, accessible sleeping arrangements.

Vici Lodge, Development Project Manager at Moat, said: “This home and the special adaptations will really make a difference to this family’s lives and I am proud that we’ve been able to give them the chance to build a future here. We hope that they are able to enjoy their new home and the space they have needed for so long.”

Cllr Paul Clokie, portfolio holder for housing at Ashford Borough Council, hailed the delivery of the home in Smarden as “a significant achievement”.

He said: “We are so pleased that Countryside, Moat and the occupational therapist from Kent County Council have worked with us to ensure this family have a home that is fit for purpose, in an area that they needed it. We will continue to identify opportunities for us to deliver homes like this with the dedicated providers of social housing who we are delighted continue to invest in our borough. Huge credit to all for delivering what I hope will be a place that this family can call home.”

Danny Wood, Managing Director, Southern Home Counties, Countryside comments: “We’re thrilled that we, alongside the fantastic teams at Moat, Ashford Borough Council and Occupational Therapy Services, were able to adapt this home to fit within the family’s specific needs, along with donating a specialist medical bed. It’s been a pleasure to play a role in helping to create a useable, functional and comfortable home for this family.”

By Ed

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