New lease of life for two Merton residents

Two south London residents with learning disabilities have benefitted from partnership work in Merton, helping them make the big move from campus style accommodation to independent assisted living.

Laura Whaley and Mark Page both have Down’s Syndrome and share a 20-year long friendship from their time at Sutton campus home, Cedar Close. Following national guidelines, which called for an end to institutionalised living for people with learning disabilities and a move towards more freedom and independence, Laura and Mark moved into their own private home with full tenancy rights in March this year.

Merton Council, in partnership with Progress Care Housing Association worked to find accommodation that would keep the friends together and ensure their support needs were met. Now, Laura and Mark are now fully settled in their new home and enjoying summer lunches in their private garden along with the extra space and calmer surroundings, modern assistive technology, a sensory room and 24 hour live in support.

Relatives of Laura and Mark are thrilled with the new accommodation and were extremely happy with how smooth the transition was from Cedar Close to the pair’s new home.

Mark’s mother, Jessie Page said: “Thanks to the sensitive and caring handling of the process by Merton’s learning disability team and his carers, Mark and his best friend are now happily living in their new home. We could not be more delighted with the outcome.”

“We would like to send our sincerest thanks to all those involved in the Clifford Avenue project for the work they did and for the spirit in which it was done.”

Councillor Linda Kirby, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Merton, visited Laura and Mark in their home last week and said: “It’s so important that people like Laura and Mark have the opportunity to live in a happy, homely environment that reflects who they are as individuals.

“We are so pleased that Laura and Mark are enjoying their new surroundings. It was great to see them enjoying each other’s company in their own space and I hope their new home brings them much happiness in the years to come.”