Extended home is life changing for Merseyside family
Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities
George Cole with his mother Tracie in the new extension
The lives of a young blind boy and his family from Merseyside have been transformed thanks to the support of Sanctuary Group.
The leading UK housing and care provider has funded an extension to the Cole family home on Hillside Road, Tranmere, to create an additional bedroom, extra kitchen space and a downstairs toilet to help youngster George who was born without sight.
George has been struggling sharing a bedroom with his elder sister as he needs to keep all of his items in the same place so they are easier to locate.
Movement of George’s possessions would prove very confusing for him so his sister Becky, who is now nine, has to try and keep their bedroom tidy and free of obstructions at all times.
The six-year-old also struggles to differentiate between day and night and, as a result, George can sometimes wake in the middle of the night and knowing no different, get out of bed and disturb his sister.
Construction of the new bedroom has provided some much-needed space for George giving him the freedom to grow up in a safe environment more suited to his needs.
Having his own bedroom means that George now has a quiet area where he can begin to establish a daily routine and concentrate on using his specialised equipment for writing Braille, without the risk of being disturbed.
In addition, the extension is allowing the family to remain in their current home without the need to relocate to alternative accommodation.
This is particularly beneficial to George as he can continue his education at his local mainstream Mersey Park Primary School where he receives specialist teaching support to meet his needs.
The works have been completed by Sanctuary’s in-house repairs and maintenance team and the extended four-bedroom property will house George, his parents, sister Becky and brother Ryan (15).
George’s mother, Tracie Cole, said: “This is a Godsend – it’s been a nightmare having George sharing with his sister. This will make a big difference to the family. I can’t thank Sanctuary enough for making this happen.”
Shaun Carr, director of assets for Sanctuary Group, commented: “It is wonderful to see how much our works can help transform the lives of families like the Coles. We recognised that George had such a strong support network in the area and by carrying out this extension he and his family can remain close to their friends and enjoy living in a property to suit his changing needs long into the future.”
Angela Dodson, Sanctuary Supported Living programme manager, who has worked closely with the family to bring about the home improvements, added: “George is a special little boy who manages to melt the heart of all who meet him with his singing and infectious laugh. This has been a unique project for me and in 25 years of working in housing this is one of the best outcomes I’ve seen. I’m really proud of this, it’s one of the highlights of my career.”
The extension of the property by Sanctuary is part of a wider programme of investment by the Group to adapt and improve the organisation’s housing stock for the benefit of residents across Merseyside.