Specially adapted home is life-changing for Yeovil family
The Jones family thought they stood little chance of being considered for a wheelchair accessible single-storey home in Yeovil to help them care for their disabled son, Adam, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. But that all changed when the family of five were put forward by South Somerset District Council (SSDC) for a brand new, specially adapted Stonewater bungalow in Larkhill Road.
Nichola, 40, and Gordon Jones, 46, had been living with their three children in a three-bedroom, semi-detached house with a tricky flight of stairs which made it very difficult for 15-year-old Adam to get around.
“Our old living arrangement wasn’t ideal as it meant that we frequently had to carry Adam up and down the stairs,” says Adam’s mother Nichola Jones, 40. “It also meant that space was limited so Adam and my 14-year-old son Jordan, had to share a room. It was frustrating that there were no specialised properties accessible to us,” Nichola explains.
Keen to find suitable housing for the family, the Council – who had been working with Stonewater on proposals for a housing project on this site– put them forward. The two organisations subsequently worked together at length, to jointly fund the design and construction of a specially adapted bungalow for the family.
“We were delighted when SSDC put us forward for a new Stonewater bungalow,” explains Nichola. “The housing policy officer was a great help and lifted the pressure off us by working with the builders, Brookvale, to find a plot of land for our new home and to organise the construction,” explains Nichola.
Once this was found, work on the family’s new home started almost straight away and six months later, the Jones’s moved into their new bungalow.
“It was wonderful to be able to move into our new home so quickly and the Stonewater staff were great,” Nichola says. “We still have a Stonewater housing officer who frequently visits us to make sure that we are settling-in ok and to provide us with any help and support that we need.”
Stonewater are one of South Somerset District Council’s preferred partners and have enjoyed a long relationship working on many, varied development projects.
The bungalow includes specially adapted features designed to support Adam and his family in their daily routine. There is a carport to protect Adam from the elements when going to and from the car, a wet room with a lifting hoist to assist with showering, and a hoist in his room.
“Our new home is absolutely perfect for our family and helps us to support Adam in so many ways,” Nichola says. “It is a lovely size, which is ideal, especially now that the kids are growing up. We have wide doorways and spacious rooms which makes it a lot easier for Adam to move around the house.”
The property has a large garden with nature-friendly features including a bird table and a swallow’s nesting area. Inside the house there are four spacious bedrooms and now the Jones’s three children each have their own room.
“Jordan loves this house because it means he has his own bedroom for the first time,” Nichola says. “It was quite distracting for him sharing with Adam who can be up and down a lot in the night and the older the boys get, the more they need their own space. My four-year-old daughter Hayley adores the garden and is thrilled that she can now fit all of her toys in her own room! I love the natural features in the garden as it gives our bungalow a personal touch and makes it feel more homely.”
Nichola is thrilled with how her bungalow has altered the lives of her family. “Stonewater has done my son proud and given us everything that we could have possibly asked for and more. They’ve created a safer environment for us as a family which is more than we ever imagined. They have changed our lives completely!”