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The Isle of Wight Council has secured £475,000 from the government to deliver a number of schemes on the Island to help people with learning disabilities to live more independently in their own homes.

The Council applied for funding from the Department of Health’s Housing and Technology Capital Fund to support 3 projects, the largest of which is to create a scheme of 8 living units with assistive technology for adults with a learning disability. The new home will meet their complex need and provide the residents with an opportunity to develop independence in a communal setting.

The project will specifically support up to 8 adults, some having lived together since childhood, and a partner agency will match fund the £350,000 awarded by the Department of Health to enable a property to be purchased to meet the group’s needs. The funding will enable assistive technology to be installed within the property to enable the residents to live more independent lives, while still having access to direct support should they need it.

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The second project is to create tenancy starter packs for up to 50 individuals which will consist of a range of digital aids to help people develop their independence and help them to transition out of residential care and into their own homes. The digital aids include fire, smoke and CO sensors, door sensors and panic alarms which will be linked to Wightcare, the Council’s 24 hour alarm service. Tenants involved in the scheme will also receive a tablet computer pre-loaded with applications designed to support independence. The apps were chosen by people with learning disabilities through the council’s User Led Organisation, they selected the ones which they found most helpful and accessible. The Council has been awarded £45,000 to deliver this scheme.

The final project is a pilot programme to give individuals access to shared ownership housing to help increase the number of people with a learning disability living independently in their own homes. The Council has been awarded £80,000 over two years to support this scheme which will be match funded by a local housing trust.

Councillor Steve Stubbings, Executive member responsible for adult social care at the Isle of Wight Council, said:

“We are delighted that the Department of Health has recognised the significant benefits that these projects will bring to people on the Isle of Wight with learning disabilities. The funding will enable us to quickly progress these schemes with our partners to provide innovative solutions to barriers which have been preventing people from living more independent lives. The additional capital funding, including the match funding from partners, amounts to £900,000 which will provide a real boost to services we are able to offer our residents.

“We are constantly looking at new ways of supporting people to live more independent lives, which has many benefits for individuals and their families and we are very pleased to be able to bring forward these projects.”

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