Care home for disabled children

By Leon Symons, February 12, 2009
An artist’s impression of how the Bayis Sheli home will look

An artist’s impression of how the Bayis Sheli home will look

A 12-bedroom home primarily for children with severe disabilities is to be built in Stamford Hill following the purchase of a £2 million property.

New charity Bayis Sheli is taking charge of the project, which is backed by the Interlink Foundation, the umbrella organisation for the Charedi voluntary sector.

Interlink helped to secure more than £3 million in funding from Futurebuilders England, a government investment programme. The Charedi community will have to raise at least another £1 million towards furnishing and running costs and a fundraising drive is under way.

The project has its roots in Beth Hayeled, a children’s respite charity that ceased operations shortly after its founders, Rabbi Avraham and Yudit Mendelson, emigrated to Israel in 2000. Its former respite care home in Allerton Road is the property purchased for the new facility. The intention is to provide both respite and residential care. Interlink’s Chaya Spitz said Bayis Sheli was founded by Leah Stern and Sophie Bernstein, mothers of disabled children. “Leah’s daughter Yitty needed full-time residential care. Sophie’s son Simcha has Down’s syndrome.

“Leah’s daughter lives in Israel because there has been no suitable facility for her here. Her parents visit her regularly. But once Bayis Sheli is built, she will return here. The Bernsteins found it impossible to find somewhere for their son to stay to give them a break, some respite. They will be able to leave him at Bayis Sheli knowing he will be looked after properly.”

The mothers have won the backing of community leaders and activists.

There are over 200 disabled children among the British Charedi community. Tzirele Gluck, whose 13-year-old son Moshe has cerebral palsy, said the project had come not a moment too soon. “We in England are the only sizeable frum community that does not have a home for disabled children.”

Last updated: 7:04pm, February 18 2009