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Adaptations are springing up!

As the spring months (hopefully!) herald drier and warmer weather there’s an abundance of Sullivan’s Heroes’ adaptation projects getting underway, together with new applicants to the charity.

Two of these newcomers looking for support towards their life-changing home adaptations are Nora and Stewart.

Nora's adapted bungalow’ requires £55,000 to be raised above the Disabled Facilities Grant funding awarded to extend and restructure the family bungalow to provide an accessible bedroom and bathroom for Nora with hoisting throughout, including profiling bed and height-adjustable bath; plus create accessible living space and external access for Nora; together with relocating Nora’s parents and brother’s bedrooms.

Nora’s parents tell us:

“Nora is a bubbly, content and utterly adorable little girl. But Nora also needs a level of support you'd never expect for a 7 year-old. Her complex epilepsy has left her non-verbal; unable to walk, sit or stand; seriously visually impaired; prone to chronic seizures and serious chest infections; fed through a tube into her tummy; and utterly dependent on others for every part of her day.”

“Our bungalow needs extensive structural works and rearranging of internal walls to provide a bedroom and bathroom that will suit our daughter's needs into adulthood, and to provide space for her to move around the house and be involved in day-to-day family life. We've been granted £30,000 from the council but even this doesn't go all the way – for example, Nora's specialist height-adjustable bath alone will cost £13,000!”

Whilst ‘Stewart's Forever Home’ sees the 6-year-old’s family facing a similar fundraising journey, with £72,500 required to be raised above the council funding awarded to extend and restructure the family home to provide an accessible ground floor bedroom and bathroom for Stewart with equipment and hoisting throughout; plus create level access throughout the ground floor, together with accessible living space and external access for Stewart.

Stewart’s parents advise:

“Stewart has Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy. Due to this he lost most of his skills and abilities when he was 2 years old. As Stewart continues to deteriorate we need to adapt our home to give Stewart a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, with facilities for hoisting.”

“This would allow us to keep Stewart at home with us, whilst ensuring all his needs are met. Stewart would have a better quality of life as he would be able to access all of downstairs in the equipment he needs. These adaptions will allow us to stay together as a family in a happy, settled and safe environment.”

Stewart’s fundraising has already got off to a flying start, with his project being featured in their local newspaper The Courier recently; together with an intrepid team of fundraisers scaling the heights of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge to raise support for the building works.

Other projects have been steaming along too. ‘An accessible home for David’ has seen major structural changes as the 5-year-old’s home has been extended and the garage converted to build a new bedroom for David and create accessible living space, including a through-floor lift, giving David access to his bedroom.

Meanwhile, funds raised for ‘Aurora's Big Build’ in just a matter of weeks has already enabled many changes to be put in place, with over 60% of their target reached. The fundraising now continues, to meet the full £66,000 required to complete the creation of a downstairs bedroom and wetroom, a new accessible porch and driveway; and make the garden accessible for Aurora to use safely in her wheelchair.

Ahmed’s Big Build’ continues ever nearer completion point, with support from Glasspool Charity Trust towards an accessible Media Wall unit in Ahmed’s new living space, to enable his independence within his home.

Oliver’s forever home’ also saw funds gratefully received – with a grant from The Hospital Saturday Fund towards the project’s £20,000 target to create a loft conversion, with through-floor lift, wet room and hi-lo bath; plus adapt the kitchen, together with building ramped wheelchair access to the garden to give Oliver more independent living.

Other support has been welcomed from Our Lady of Ransom, St Gregory and St Agnes in Eastbourne, together with the teams at Amber Living and Grumitt Wade Mason who’s ‘Cycle to the North Pole’ challenge is well on track for their polar goal!

We end this update with exciting news of the completion of ‘Ella’s house adaptations’.

The project involved creating a suitably sized bedroom for Ella and her equipment, together with an accessible bathing facility and ceiling hoisting throughout.

Ella’s parents explain:

“Before the adaptations we were having to carry our daughter up and down the stairs which was becoming increasingly difficult and unsafe as she is now 9 years old.  We were also having to lift her in/out of the bath which again was becoming very unsafe and difficult.  We were also struggling to get Ella around the house in her wheelchair to access all areas of the house.”

Now that the project is completed, Ella’s parents elaborate:

“The adaptations have made a huge difference to our lives as a family.  Without them we would have struggled to continue caring for Ella safely.”

Please do get in touch if you have any fundraising events, activities and ideas you’d like to share with us; or if you would like to apply for a grant or to fundraise through Sullivan’s Heroes.

Thank you for your ongoing support, it is greatly appreciated.