‘Dream’ Move For Hostel Residents

Adults with learning disabilities in Pendle, Lancashire, are being moved into new purpose-built houses within the local community. And the transfer has been welcomed by Dave Custance, head of learning disability services at Lancashire County Council, who branded the old hostel, which is set to close, “out-dated” and “old fashioned”. The home, Boulsworth Hostel, Colne, is owned and managed by the county council, and currently supports adults who have complex needs relating to their learning disability, physical care, or challenging behaviour.

Over the past 12 months, five residents have moved out of Boulsworth Hostel to receive community support and accommodation with carers in the community.

In order to close Boulsworth Hostel, the remaining residents and three adults with learning disabilities who currently live with their family, or within health services, will move into four new houses within the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale districts.

The individuals will become tenants of a housing association, with 24-hour on-site staff support.

Mr Custance said: “People with a learning disability expect, and have a right to live as ordinary members of their local communities. Boulsworth Hostel is out-dated and old fashioned. This style of provision is now less appropriate for people with a learning disability who need support in their daily living so they can be part of the community.

“Services are constantly changing and we have come a long way in a few years. In Lancashire, the big old learning disability hospitals are closing and the emphasis is now very much on supporting people to live in their own home, and to have access to the whole range of facilities everyone else takes for granted.”

He said all residents and their relatives endorsed the view that their quality of life would greatly improve by relocating to ordinary houses within their local community.

Richard Jones, executive director of adult and community services at the county council, added: “Most people have a view about what they want out of life, and the sort of support they need to realise their dreams and aspirations. People with a learning disability are not a separate group of people and should not be excluded from accessing the same life chances and opportunities to help them live as fully and independently as possible.”