Avenues’ new supported living service in East Sussex


Earlier this year Avenues was awarded a contract with East Sussex County Council to manage and provide support at two new supported living properties in Seaford for people with learning disabilities.

The two services, opening this month, are part of a wider response from East Sussex County Council to the need for more accommodation for people with learning disabilities who may also have autism and/or complex needs. The contract involves the management of the two properties which will be run jointly, and the provision of care for people with complex needs.

This is a new and exciting opportunity for Avenues. We have been leased the two properties by East Sussex County Council meaning we will be managing the properties. We’ve designed tenancy and tenancy packs and worked with housing benefit colleagues to make sure we are getting everything right.

Secondly it has provided us with the opportunity to work in a new area. As an organisation we often grow by trying to get work in areas close to areas where we already work, which is true for Seaford. It means we can bring our perspective and experience as a provider supporting people with complex needs to a new area while also drawing on existing expertise in the neighbouring area.

In addition, Simon Goldsmith and Martin Chittell, who are specialists in connecting people with their communities, completed some ‘community mapping’, which involved getting to know the local area to see what facilities and activities are on offer. Both the properties are close to transport links and community amenities and this work means we will be able to offer tenants a variety of activities as soon as they move in.

Since being awarded the contract there has been a lot of work getting the services ready for the opening this month. Martin Slater, Area Manager, and Doreen Forward, Service Manager, have been working closely with the local authority to identify tenants. This has been a fully collaborative process, throughout which Martin and Doreen have assessed everyone who has been put forward for a tenancy and attended meetings where tenancies were allocated.

Andrea Wiggins, New Project Director said, ‘this has been a great opportunity for Avenues to utilise and build on our experience elsewhere in the South East and it’s been a really positive joint piece of work with the local authority in East Sussex.’

For all of eight tenants, this is the first time they have had their own tenancy having come from a range of backgrounds including family homes and residential care services. Alongside identifying tenants lots of work has also gone into recruiting support staff to work at the services.

The service is due to open this month. Look out for another update as the service gets up and running over the next few months.


12 September 2016