Milestones Trust

Modern new transition service for people with learning disabilities opens in the heart of Fishponds

News at Milestones Trust


Modern new transition service for people with learning disabilities opens in the heart of Fishponds

A new supported living service run by Bristol-based charity Milestones Trust will provide a home to eight young adults with learning disabilities and support them to gain greater independence. An event to celebrate the opening of the new service was held on Thursday 14th March and was attended by guests including local councillors Amal Ali and Lesley Alexander, both of whom represent the Frome Vale ward.

From left to right, Kim Scudamore, Hilary Crowhurst, Councillor Amal Ali, Gerald Scudamore, and Jan Lawry

The Graeme Close service has undergone a complete refurbishment, with an innovative designed aimed at maximising accessibility for people with physical disabilities. This was funded in part by a large legacy donation from the family of Brenda Hoskins, who once lived in the area, as well as a capital investment by Milestones Trust.

The transition-focused service is intended for use by young adults who have a learning disability, as well as other complex needs, including physical disabilities. They will be supported to develop new skills and become more independent, learning practical skills, such as how to apply for a job and manage a tenancy, as well as managing their emotions and building their own networks. The intention is that after around two years, people supported at the service will be ready to move on to more permanent accommodation with less intensive support.

Staff at the service have undergone a programme of training tailored to equip them with the skills they will need to support people at Graeme Close. This includes training focused on positive behavioural support, autism awareness, person-centred working, and relationships and sexuality.

The building itself, which is in the heart of the lively Fishponds area, is designed to accommodate people who are happy to spend time around others, as well as those who prefer their own space. The ground floor is fully wheelchair-friendly, and Wi-Fi and cabling throughout the building means that assistive technology can be deployed anywhere to support people with a range of complex needs.

Milestones Trust’s Chief Executive Hilary Crowhurst said:

“I’m really proud to open our new service at Graeme Close. Our staff will work in partnership with the people we support to help them to achieve the things that really matter to them. We’ve designed this service to maximise independence and enable our support to be flexible and truly collaborative.”

“I’d like to pay tribute to the family of Brenda Hoskins, whose generous legacy donation helped to make the creation of this service possible. We are determined to make them proud of the positive impact it achieves.”

Kim Scudamore, nephew of Brenda Hoskins said:

“I’m so pleased that Milestones Trust have made such good use of our aunt’s legacy and look forward to seeing the service filled up with people.”

His brother Gerald Scudamore added:

“I’m happy that we could play a part in producing such a fantastic facility. Brenda would be so pleased with the result.”

Leo, who has moved into Graeme Close said:

“It was a great event for the official opening of Graeme Close. I feel happy to live in Graeme Close.”

Leo who has moved into Graeme Close

Councillor Amal Ali who attended the event said:

“I was pleased to come to the opening and share in this wonderful event. And I look forward to coming back in a year’s time when it’s full and seeing people flourishing here.”

Jan Lawry, a Trustee of Milestones Trust, said:

“Graeme Close is a transition service, which means that people will typically live here for about two years before moving on to new accommodation. The expectation is that at their new home they’ll be ready to live even more independently. So this service isn’t about standing still, it’s not about putting limits on a person’s potential. To both the people we support and our staff, we’re saying ‘let’s be courageous, let’s see what’s possible.”