The newly opened Rainbow House short break centre includes a sensory room and fully accessible playground facilities.
Young disabled people and their families enjoyed discovering the fantastic facilities at a new state-of-the-art short breaks unit which opened last week.
As well as a number of families, over 100 invited guests, including senior Leeds city councillors and officers, discovered the welcoming and accessible Rainbow House in Bramley.
The new short breaks facility, which includes 12 individual bedrooms, each with en-suite facilities, was built by the Leeds Independent Living Accommodation Company consortium (LiLAC).
Rainbow House has been designed with flexibility in mind and is fully accessible for wheelchair users. The unit will enable children and young adults to gain confidence with short breaks away from their parents, with the aim of preparing them for greater independence in adult life.
Billy and Sarah Gillfillan whose daughter Jessica had helped in the consultations about Rainbow House, but sadly died before it opened, were invited to cut the ribbon to officially open the unit.
Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“Everyone who attended this open day was really impressed with how welcoming and accessible the new centre is. The children and families loved the new building, and parents were really impressed with how easily their children adapted to the new environment.
“This is a great example of the type of short breaks facility which will contribute to the Aiming High for disabled children scheme across the city.”
Disabled young people have already begun taking short breaks at the unit and are benefiting from the specially tailored accommodation. The sensory room and ball pool are already proving to be a favourite amongst the guests. Young people are also enjoying the bright and lively playground which has a range of equipment which is fully accessible to wheelchair users.
Already young people who would not have been able to use the old accommodation because of the stairs have been able to benefit from Rainbow house.
Throughout the whole project, the consortium has worked closely with parents, children and care experts to deliver accommodation tailored to the specialised needs of its residents.. Involvement from future residents even included the children selecting furnishings and decoration and helping to choose equipment for the play area. Even the name ‘Rainbow House’ was chosen by one of the children
Stephen Bradbury, Managing Director of Jack Lunn Construction, who designed and built Rainbow House commented:
“We are immensely proud to be involved in the creation of fantastic schemes like Rainbow House, which really help to enhance the lives of disabled residents and their families. The project has been a prime example of collaborative working between all stakeholders involved in the scheme and the opening event is a real cause for celebration within the local community.”
Rainbow House is a unique development in a £80 million PFI Independent Living Project, as it represents the only facility designed specifically to provide short break care for children and young people. The Independent Living Project sees the council working in partnership with Progress Care Housing Association, Jack Lunn (Properties) Ltd and MJ Gleeson Plc to deliver 75 purpose-built, modern homes across 41 sites in Leeds for individuals with learning difficulties and mental health needs.