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A week for the past, present, and future of care in Wales

Starting with the countdown to Hijinx Theatre’s Housemates production, as campaigners for the rights of bus users, Welsh Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, recently visiting our services. What a week of excitement!

Housemates: A blast from the past

Mark your calendars. From the 6th of October to the 14th, you can head down to the Sherman Theatre for a night that will undoubtedly make your heart sing.

The Cardiff theatre will host an unforgettable evening of music and heartwarming storytelling this October as Tim Green, Sherman Theatre, and Hijinx collaborate to bring you Housemates.

This sensational performance takes us on the journey of our origins, centring on Alan, a former Ely Hospital resident, and Jim, an enthusiastic 18-year-old student, as they pioneer our first supported living home in 12 Ruthin Gardens, which happens to be the first supported living home in the UK! Housemates features a talented ensemble of neurodivergent and neurotypical actor-musicians. Promising to take you on a musical journey filled with classic hits from the 70s.

Supported Living and Social Care owe their current state to the pioneering work of a few student volunteers who cared and five adults with Learning Disabilities who fought for their right to live in the community.

Book your ticket and learn more about the show by visiting Sherman Theatre’s website.

Derailed by Bus Cancellations: The Secret Garden's Struggle

Imagine a lush garden, cared for by a dedicated group of 25 volunteers every week, nestled in the grounds of St Fagans Museum. That defines the essence of the Secret Garden for you.

However, a recent setback has cast a shadow on this heartwarming initiative – the cancelling of a direct bus service to the site has meant a big drop in volunteer numbers at the project. 

The Cardiff bus service halted suddenly in September. Since then, it has been affecting our project and the wellbeing of our amazing volunteers. Although a bus does stop in the village of St Fagans, some of our volunteers have additional needs and walking long distances is not an option. Project volunteer Peter prefers to take the bus. This is a route he is comfortable taking and become accustomed to. Peter enjoys his routine and finds getting a taxi stressful.

This situation calls for attention and support to ensure those already disabled by their environments do not face further obstacles. 

Hear what project officer Peter Bradley and project volunteers, Owen and Peter say about it on ITV Wales.

Julie Morgan’s glimpse into the future of innovative care

Julie Morgan, MS, recently undertook a meaningful visit with Cymorth Cymru, an organisation of which we take pride in being members. By working closely with Welsh leaders, the visit aimed to learn more about planning for the future. This visit was about ensuring people get the care they need. All of this will result in a report, bringing together the ideas and experiences of many care providers.

Kevin, a member of our Board of Trustees supported by Innovate Trust in the Vale of Glamorgan and Julie Morgan, MS

During her visit, Julie had the chance to explore many different care settings hosted by various providers. Among these, we were honoured to host her at our cutting-edge Assessment and Move-On facility in Penarth. This unique provision is deeply rooted in the concept of Supported Living but goes further, emphasising equipping individuals with the skills necessary for achieving independence. The setting boasts a Smart house equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It is about fostering digital competence in individuals before they transition to more independent living arrangements.

In addition to this, Julie also visited our Core and Cluster arrangement in Barry. Our Core and Cluster setting is a distinct complex of five flats. Here, the needs of residents vary, with some requiring 24-hour care and support. While others thrive with minimal assistance from our teams. These settings, each unique in its own right, show our innovative approaches to Supported Living, challenging the conventional norms and demonstrating the evolving landscape of care provision.

Excited, proud, and determind

From the Housemates years to our most recent work, and for years to come, we will continue to strive to shape the future of care in Wales. Where innovation and compassion drive us forward, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of care provision. Ensuring that individuals receive the support and independence they deserve. 

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