Disabled charity cannot satisfy demand from the regions


Jewish Blind & Disabled has decided against expanding into the regions despite evidence of high demand for its services.

The charity - which has properties in Redbridge, north London and the Hertfordshire suburbs - provides independent living for those with physical problems or vision impairment.

JBD has found that one-in-three users of its online advice resource, Empowering Ability, are from outside London. Although some regional welfare organisations offer sheltered housing, JBD says the level of support is not the same.

It has considered projects in other areas, most recently Bournemouth, but decided against on practical grounds. Explained Karen Zeff, head of house management and tenancy support, JBD prided itself on the backing tenants received from its London-based staff.

"We are like a family and our tenants know the people who will be there to support them in an emergency, or just be part of making their everyday lives better. We do not use agency staff so every member of the team really knows and understands our values and ethos. This would be impossible to maintain at a distance."

Chief executive Hazel Kaye pointed out that some people from the regions were on the JBD property waiting lists. But others were unwilling or unable to make the move to London.

One who has is Sarah Herman, who came from Nottingham, where "so many people have either moved away or are no longer with us that even the nursing home owned by the shul had to close down.

"I originally came from London and so was happy to move back, particularly as it meant that I could keep my independence by moving into my lovely new JBD apartment."

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