15 Mar 2024

New specialist supported living service in Dorchester unveiled at grand community opening

Elizabeth Court, a new supported living service for adults with a learning disability and/or Autism, was opened in Dorchester following a grand unveiling from key partners, tenants and their family.

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The specialist service is set behind Dorchester’s iconic Brewery Square quarter and comprises twelve flats over three storeys and four spacious bungalows at the rear of the site.

Elizabeth Court meets the NHS England Autism standards for accommodation. This includes additional space to enable wheelchair access in an environment that reduces the risk of hazards to residents.

Each flat has a bedroom, bathroom and living/dining room with specially adapted kitchen facilities, as well as space for in-house care and support.

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At the unveiling, the ribbon was cut by Elizabeth Court tenant John, who regaled the assembled crowd with a rousing speech about the community that he and the other tenants had made for themselves in Dorchester:

John said:

“The thing that I like the most about Elizabeth Court is the great community we have made here.”

Elizabeth Court is the product of a close partnership with Dorset Council, appointed care provider Agincare Enable and housing provider/landlord Inclusion Housing.

Agincare Enable use their specialist knowledge of people with a learning disability, Autistic spectrum condition, and physical disability, to provide care and support to the tenants. Whilst housing partner/landlord Inclusion Housing provide a hands-on fortnightly intensive housing management service to support tenants in maintaining their tenancies.

Elizabeth Court is Dorset Council’s newest supported living scheme since it opened Fox Court in Sturminster Newton, a block of eighteen apartments for people with a range of learning disabilities three years ago. The opening of Elizabeth Court support Dorset Council’s ‘A Better Life for Adults in Dorset’ care and support strategy.

Agincare Enable Managing Director Sarnjeet Banwait said:

“We are delighted to work closely with Dorset Council, Inclusion Housing and all key partners that have made Elizabeth Court such an important community asset.

“As an established Dorset-based care provider, it is a real source of pride to support people to live as independently as possible so close to home.

“We are looking forward to supporting tenants for a bright future ahead.”

Inclusion Housing’s Operations Director Michelle Dodgson said:

“We look forward to welcoming our tenants into their new homes at Elizabeth Court and working in partnership with Dorset Council and Agincare to make the service a success.”

Cllr Jane Somper, Cabinet Portfolio lead for Adult Social Care, Health and Housing, welcomed the new development:

“I am very excited about this valuable new supported living base in Dorchester which will provide people with autism and/or a learning disability with the care and support they need to move into independent living.

“It is impressive to have this specialist accommodation for local people, enabling them to access a range of services across our county town and empowering them to build confidence, make new friendships and connect with the community,” she added.

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