Blackburn Supported Living Goes from Strength to Strength

Since AFG opened its new supported living accommodation at Balmoral Close in Blackburn, the number of residents and the sense of community has grown.

AFG’s first tenants moved into a development of nine two-bedroom flats in April. AFG has since worked closely with housing partner Hilldale Housing Association (HHA) which supplied furniture and kitchen equipment. Residents have been able to add their own personal touches to their flat choosing wet rooms or baths. A competition held amongst the prospective residents to choose a name for the flats came up with Bracken Heights & Albany Heights.

“Because most of the people moving into Bracken Heights were already supported by AFG, they have settled in well and their staff teams have been very supportive during the transition,” says Integrated Pathway Coordinator (IPC) Lynn Mitton.

“People we support are now getting out into their community more. One gentleman now goes out daily to buy his milk and newspaper. He is loving his new-found independence.”

A second block of nine flats in a similar configuration is due to open at the end of August or early September. Again, working closely with Blackburn and Darwen Council and HHA, the new block will be known as Albany Heights.

Lynn explained: “We’ve worked really well together across the different agencies. The latest block has been in planning for about 12 months. Both blocks have a communal lounge, mostly two-bedrooms and an office space.”

Residents can choose to mix with each other in the communal lounge. Staff are also reaping the benefit of supporting a range of different people because they now have more variety in their working day – supporting more than one person.

Everyone also enjoyed a day out at Blackpool Zoo together. Team leader Fiona Williams said:

“We all took a packed lunch, and everyone had a terrific day in the sunshine. The petting enclosure was the absolute favourite with everyone. We hope it’s the first of many similar days out”.

Pictured (from left to right) are team leader Dan Batley, support worker Sharon Hall and Bracken Heights resident Phillip Taylor.