Longmead at the heart of Redhill
With the move to Longmead imminent, we ask Anne Shiels, Senior Operations Manager for Community Choices, a few questions about the move.
How will this new building enable Surrey Choices and the people we support to become more integrated into the community?
Longmead is in a prime location that is close to amenities and links to transport that provides greater opportunities for individuals to access resources in their own local communities. For example we are establishing a partnership with the local leisure centre, which will give the people we support the same access to activities as everyone else.
As part of the Changing Days agenda, Surrey Choices wants to give individuals more choice and control over their lives and the support they receive. An essential starting point for personalisation and supporting individuals to achieve inclusion within their local communities is an effective Person Centred Plan.
Why is a Person Centred Plan so important?
Taking into consideration people’s abilities and circumstances, they are able to choose the activities that best meet their needs and aspirations. The new site provides additional opportunities for life skills education, such as food preparation, shopping and money management. In addition Travel Training can be offered more widely. Travel Training has been proven to help the people Surrey Choices support to become more independent and able to travel safely.
Once relocated to Longmead, people will have greater access to public transport enabling them to travel independently around town. This gives more scope for individuals to get to Longmead on evenings and weekends.
What Community Partnerships are envisaged?
The work we will be doing in the community is a vital part of why we have relocated. The initial plan is to collaborate on projects in the Redhill area that help to support the environment, brighten up communal areas and improve the well-being of residents and the people we support.
One example of how we intend to work with the community is through a partnership with Cromwell Community Group and Raven Housing Trust in Redhill. The horticultural team has already been out to help restore a garden for a resident who is unable to do the work for herself.
The new accessible kitchen at Longmead will be a great place to host cooking groups. Together with local residents, the people we support will be invited to learn about the food and cultures represented among the diverse communities living in Redhill.
Are there any other Benefits around the move?
Being more central in the community enhances our ability to raise disability awareness. As we look to build links with voluntary groups and local businesses, more of our community will inevitably acquire a greater understanding of the importance of inclusion and access for all.
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