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Praise for ‘wonderful’ new transition service.

   
Left: The property in Bexleyheath will offer transition services under the Transforming Care programme. 
Right: Area Manager Sarah Harvey with Regional Director Mickey Gray and Oakwood Drive Service Manager Anita Lawrance

Commissioners and family members have praised a new Avenues transition service in Bexleyheath.

The house, comprising three flats and separate three bedrooms with extensive shared space, will become home to six young people this summer as they build their own lives in the community.

Avenues Area Manager Sarah Harvey explained: “When combined with good planning by local authorities and the input from families, transition services offer a really effective alternative to young people with learning disability going into secure hospitals, and the often damaging consequences of that experience.

“The NHS’s Transforming Care programme is steadily moving people out of these units, and our Oakwood Drive service will available to support those individuals as well as those who need to transition from a residential school or family environment.

“As always, we’ll be working to reduce their support needs gradually, so they can become as independent as possible, make choices and enjoy fulfilling lives.”

Family members who have visited the new service in Oakwood Drive described how impressed they were with what was on offer.

Bryan Renno, who has been a foster parent to one new resident since he was a baby, said: “We knew the time was coming, and to be honest it was really hard as we prepared for the move and trying to do the best thing.

“We’d seen so many options but it had been so disheartening. He loves company and is really social, but all that had been offered were a succession of small flats with no outdoor space. It just felt as if he’d be shut away. We live in Sidcup and the only place we’d seen that might have worked was in Lincoln.

“We can already see that he can be really happy here, and are delighted because we’re just down the road and can still be present in his life. We feel hugely reassured about the future.”

Diane Young, a project manager with Golden Lane Housing, said: “It’s the perfect place for young people, with lots of shared and private areas for them to use both indoors and outdoors. And the flexibility of the living spaces means that the service can change according to the needs of those being supported. It’s just wonderful.”