In June 1979, Paul and Ann de Savary were elated by the birth of their daughter, Laura, but when she was 6 months old, their world was shattered by the devastating news no parent wants to hear:
Your daughter is mentally handicapped… she might live, she might not. We don’t really know but by the way, good luck.
Fast forward 30 years and Paul and Ann and their son Hugo now run Home from Home Care. Based in Lincolnshire, the organization provides residential care to nearly 40 adults with complex needs, autism, epilepsy, and profound and multiple learning disabilities. Core to the beliefs of the company are that simply providing care is not enough; individuals must be encouraged and supported to lead as fulfilled lives as possible in a caring and homely environment.
This purpose runs right through the heart of the company’s strategy, from training staff to feel empowered to offer the best level of support, to a management structure that enables processes and innovative new programs to be implemented and followed. All of this ensures that the quality of care is second to none.
For the people living in the homes, structured and active days including National Proficiency Training Council (NTPC) life skills learning and real person-centered planning encourages them to develop and gives them the opportunities they deserve. It’s not unusual to visit one of the homes and find everyone out swimming, horse riding, at college, or doing voluntary work in the local community. As parents, Ann and Paul really do believe active days ultimately foster happier and more fulfilled lives.
By Paul and Ann’s own admission, though, it hasn’t always been easy. Their background is in construction, and it was only when they were looking for a place for Laura while she was still at college did they find they were appalled by the options out there and realized they would have to set up something themselves.
Said Ann, It was all very depressing. You’d walk in and the curtains would be hanging off the rails. The guys would be sitting watching television and there was a smell of urine.
In 2004, she persuaded the family to start their own organization. Combining their experience of building restoration of the highest quality with the outcomes they wanted for Laura as her parents has provided a unique recipe for success.
The company expanded and now has five homes, each built around the central focal point of an open plan kitchen and living area. Privacy is provided in spacious individual en-suite rooms that each person can personalize completely how they like, just as they would at home. Many rooms have been modified to specific needs, as have the bathrooms, to enable people to live in comfort and ease. Two of the homes have mews cottages in the grounds that provide more independent living while still offering 24-hour care, and the new Community Options facilities offer an expanding range of specialist services.
The expansion has seen Home from Home Care grow from a company of 30 people to one that now employs over 150. With individuals funded from over 15 different Local Authorities across the UK and parents often far afield, the responsibility of providing 24/7 care, 365 days a week across five sites has presented many challenges. But the knowledge that the company is striving to deliver to the ideals for supporting people like Laura keeps the momentum and energy high. Standing still is just not an option.
As Paul says, Our aim must be to ensure that we continue to meet individual needs, helping people like Laura to have more control over their lives…
Like for so many families of children with learning disabilities, the course of destiny changed dramatically for Ann, Paul, and Hugo, but they hope that by creating Home from Home Care they are making a difference to people and their family’s lives.
To arrange a visit or for more information go to www.homefromhomecare.com.
To read Hugo’s blog for friends and families affected by learning disabilities go to www.hugodesavary.com.