Hightown Housing Association staff have been shortlisted for their excellent work at a local care scheme in Aylesbury for residents with learning disabilities.

The UK Housing Awards have recognised the team at Stanton House for piloting the ‘Independent Growth Pathway’ project, enabling residents to move from supported accommodation to independent living. As a result of the project, all residents have now confidently moved into independent accommodation. Staff members at Stanton House have been relocated to other Hightown care services in the local area.

Stanton House is a modern apartment block in Aylesbury which until recently offered 24 hour care and support to four adults with a variety of care needs. When the scheme was opened in 2011, the aim was to gradually enable residents to transition from onsite accommodation to living in the community, with reduced support needs. This has now been achieved.

Hightown’s mission is to support services users to build healthy, happy lives in which they can make their own choices. After seven years at Stanton House, the positive transformation in the service users lives is clear.

Ross, former resident of Stanton House said:

“I’ve got more confident since living here. I recently travelled on a bus on my own to London which I had never done before. I’ve learned how to take taxis, trains and buses. I’m going to college to get qualifications in Maths and English which will help me get a job. I want to get a job where I can work outside.”

Belinda Stewart, Scheme Manager said:

“We helped service users to write their own CVs and took them to the job centre to speak to advisers. One of our residents, Jonathan, now works three days a week in paid employment.”

Jonathan, former resident of Stanton House said:

“I got support from staff with cooking meals, laundry washing, shopping and all sorts of things. I can now do all these things on my own.”

Skill development in the scheme included everything from cooking and budgeting, to socialising within the scheme to help the residents develop friendships and avoid isolation.

Sharon Hobbs, Operations Manager said:

“It’s a really nice feeling to see how well the service users are doing and how independent they have become. The thing I enjoy most about my job is seeing the difference you can make to people’s lives as they become more confident, move on and have the life you would always want for them.”

Sebastian Moh, Head of Care and Supported Housing for Bucks said:

“By working in partnership with the service users, their families and Buckinghamshire County Council, we successfully reallocated the 24/7 staff presence from Stanton House. As a result of the Pathway, the people we support have gained greater independence and we have provided the local authority £100k in efficiencies. It is wonderful to see positive outcomes for all involved; a true win-win!”

When Belinda and Sharon talk about Stanton House, it is clear how much they have helped the residents develop and how much their dedication has paid off. They really are true stars in the care industry and we wish them all the best at the awards ceremony in May!