Demand outstrips supply for Kisharon supported living

Learning disability charity makes new places available. But there are still 20 people on the waiting list, half of them priority cases


A mezuzah-fixing ceremony for new supported living accommodation in Golders Green marks the latest efforts of learning disability charity Kisharon to meet demand from clients aged 18 and above to lead more independent lives.

The Leeside Crescent development brings the number of those in the charity’s supported living portfolio to 29 and another three will be housed this summer.

However, a further 20 people are on the waiting list, around half of whom are considered priority cases. Like other communal charities, Kisharon faces the difficulty of finding affordable and suitable properties, “particularly when providing for people with complex issues”.

The desire for clients to remain close to their families and communities means that Kisharon is looking in areas such as Golders Green, Hendon and Stamford Hill. Although day to day social care is funded through local authorities, Kisharon has to finance the purchase and refurbishment of the properties.

Julia Brown, Kisharon’s director of operations and development, said that “increasingly, local authorities and families are turning to Kisharon for help in securing supported living. We are recognised for offering a modern, flexible and innovative service that meets person-specific needs.”

For Ruth Marlowe, the placement of her son Simon in a Kisharon property in Hendon two years ago has been life-changing.

“I am so happy — head over heels in fact — because of the kindness, care and quality of the staff and management, who are so supportive.

“My son lives a full life, which is so important to me. If Kisharon hadn’t stepped in, he would have been placed by the local authority in the middle of the country, away from his family and community.

“Now, with the help of Kisharon, he sings with the Electric Umbrella [music therapy] programme, something which would simply have been unimaginable during more challenging times. He goes to the theatre, eats in restaurants and truly has a lovely life. He is happy, which is all a mother wants for any of her children.”




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