New home in St Martins is life-changing for eight-year-old Martha

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A specially-adapted bungalow is proving to be life-changing for one eight-year-old and her family from St Martins.

Martha Roberts, who was recently recognised by West Mercia Police with a good citizen award, has a neuro-muscular disorder which physically affects her body in many ways meaning she has various support needs and her symptoms become progressively worse over the course of the day.

But the four-bedroom bungalow she recently moved in to with her parents Ian and Helen, and her four sisters, has made a big difference.

Based on the Bower Farm estate built by The Wrekin Housing Trust, it features a family kitchen and lounge area together with a wet room which is kitted out with specialist equipment to assist Martha with her day-to-day needs, and is designed to be fully accessible for wheelchairs. It even has everything in place to enable further adaptations such as hoists in the future if required.

Helen said: “This bungalow is simply amazing for us all. It has given me and the family immense peace of mind.

“I was worried that Martha’s room would feel clinical but it doesn’t at all. The wet room has been such a blessing and I know that whatever happens in the future we have a home that can adapt and cope with any changes.

“Martha’s health has improved since our move mainly due to lessening physical demands of the property.”

The family’s previous three-bedroom home had an upstairs bathroom and didn’t offer Martha the space to use her wheelchair, which meant she had to be physically carried upstairs to be washed.

Martha added: “I now have the best bedroom ever and enjoy sharing it with my sister. I love it in here and having two bathrooms means I don’t have to wait anymore!”

The move has also allowed for a new family member labrador puppy Tilly who is looking forward to a future with the family as Martha’s assistance dog. Tilly will be starting her training once she reaches her first birthday.

Steve Swann, development manager for The Wrekin Housing Trust, commented: “I’m thrilled to see the positive effect the new bungalow has had for the Roberts family following their move.

“It’s testament to the partnerships we’ve formed by working with The Bower Farm Project Board, Shropshire Council and local construction firm, CGL Homes that we’ve been able to provide the right homes for local people in the area of St Martins.”

Email:

emily.davies@nwn.co.uk

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