Things are LEGO-ing Good for our new Young Adults Accomodation

As if we weren’t excited enough that the architect’s plans are taking shape for our new Young Adults Accommodation, we now have an amazing Lego model that’s really helped us piece together how it will look!

It’s all thanks to one of our young adults, Noah Bingham, age 22. Noah has been a Lego-lover since he was 4 and remembers building one of his first sets – the Star Wars X-Wing – since then he’s lost count of how many he’s built. So, when asked if he’d like to be commissioned to build the model, he jumped at the chance to take on his first commission.

Noah explained how he went about building the model:

“I was given the architect’s drawings to work with. I began to build it on my digital building program, This allows me to build with an infinite number of Lego bricks in every colour possible. Building it digitally took me about 3 months to complete.”

Next, Noah ordered the pieces he needed from BrickLink (a place for people to buy and sell their Lego). Sourcing the pieces was a task in itself, as Noah described:

“That took another 2 months, due to waiting for all the packages to arrive, plus postal strikes were happening at the time, making sure everything was there and ordering the missing bits – and then finally, once everything was here, I could start building.

“The building process itself was pretty smooth and quick, minus the fact I had completely forgotten to order an entire type of piece, so the wall was full of holes as I was building!”

But Noah filled the holes, completed the model and we think “everything is AWESOME!”

Lego build_web

Take a peek inside and you’ll see...

1. Two new bedrooms – designed to meet the needs of our young adults
2. Shared accessible bathroom
3. Living space for entertaining friends
4. Carer bedroom – for a carer who could sleep overnight (just as they would in an independent living environment)
5. Wet room/accessible shower
6. Separate ‘front door’ for more independence (perfect for late night returns from the cinema or pub!)

Plus there’ll be a new covered walkway to link to our current Young Adults Lounge – with a ‘café culture’, trendy space in the garden area between the two (not shown on Lego model)

Joss Parker, Matron of our Children and Young Adults Service agrees:

“We’re absolutely delighted! It’s so realistic and gives a real sense of what the new building will be like.”

Joss can’t wait to have this new accommodation in action and see the difference it makes:

“It will provide a space specifically designed for Young Adults, allowing us to develop the way we work with them and support them into the future. There is currently a big gap and no provision outside of St Oswald’s Hospice to provide Young Adults with complex health needs with short breaks. This new accommodation will be an environment in which they can grow and become more independent. Our young adults will be able to transition to adult care in a more seamless way.”

Talking about Noah’s Lego model, Joss added:

“Noah took so much time and gave great attention to detail – even down to designing his own Lego wheelchairs with realistic controls. We’re so grateful to Noah – he’s done a brilliant job!”

(We couldn’t agree more – thanks, Noah!)

Why do we need new Young Adults Accommodation?

20 years ago, our service was designed for children aged approximately 3 – 18 years. However, incredible medical advances mean that many more children with life threatening conditions are living into their 20s (and beyond). We are now registered to take young adults up to the age of 25. Understandably, they would like more bespoke accommodation that meets their needs.

The idea of living away from home can be very scary for our young adults – and even more worrying for their parents. But it’s something that is important for them to think about and explore the idea.

A child who comes for their first short break is likely to continue using our service potentially until they are 25. And every year there are more children who need our support. We currently have a waiting list and there are no other services locally which could meet these children’s needs. These extra beds will increase our capacity allowing us to provide short breaks to more children and families.

Did you know?

Our new Young Adults Accommodation has been made possible as we were lucky enough to be the beneficiary of a significant legacy left by a lovely lady from South Shields, Miss Winifred Futter.

Both Win, and her late sister, were teachers, so her trustees thought that they would have liked their money to be used to help children and young people from across the region.

Find out more about our Free Wills for Charity

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