Rt Hon John Bercow launches new accessible house in Stone
Published by Alison Donovan for The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust in Housing and also in Health
Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury launched a new Aspire House on Friday 21 March, in partnership with the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust. The house was officially opened by Rt Hon John Bercow MP on Friday 21 March.
Every eight hours, someone in the UK is paralysed by a spinal cord injury. Due to the general lack of accessible housing in the UK, many spinal injured people face the prospect of delayed discharge, being discharged into nursing homes or having to live in unsuitable housing. Unsuitable housing can mean anything from returning to a house where they will have to wash in the kitchen because the bathroom is inaccessible, to only being able to leave the property when friends or family are around to carry them out to the pavement outside. Aspire Houses provide temporary accessible homes for people with spinal cord injuries while a more permanent solution is being arranged.
Ian Silver, Director of Housing and Community Services, Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust said: “Two years ago at our Speaker’s House event, I was profoundly moved to hear the story of two people with similar injuries, but with two very different experiences of accessible – or at least in one case, inaccessible – housing. The words that have stayed with me are “the Aspire House was my rehabilitation – I just got on with life.” On behalf of the Trust, I made a promise that night to deliver our second Aspire House, and I am delighted that we are here opening that house today.’
Brian Carlin, CEO of Aspire, commented: “We are excited to be working with The Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust once again to open our second house in the area. We now have 37 houses around the UK. Due to a lack of accessible housing, 89% of spinal injured people are forced to live in inaccessible accommodation after they leave hospital. Aspire, with the assistance of housing associations around the country, helps people live an independent life by providing temporary homes with fully accessible features whilst their permanent accessible housing is arranged.”