At Ravenswood, she has flourished. The staff at Ravenswood know and love Angela and she loves them
Angela is our older sister. She has lived at Ravenswood since she was 15 years old. She is now 68. It is her home.
As small children, she and I shared a bedroom and we and our brother had fun together. She went to a special school where she learned to read and write. As she got older, her behaviour became more challenging. I imagine she was frustrated and the world seemed a strange place that was difficult to make sense of. She spent time in a hospital, which was not helpful and she became very withdrawn. Then my parents discovered Ravenswood. It was not a Village then, but an old house and Angela was accepted. Since then she has flourished.
She can walk freely around the village, and can independently access her activities.
As Ravenswood grew and developed into a village, she lived in a Chalet with house parents, then moved to the Farmhouse, and now she lives in The Green. She has her own bedsit flat, with its own front door and a key that she looks after as if it were her prized possession. She can withdraw to her flat if she wants quiet time, or can accept visitors if she wishes.
In her flat she is happy to watch a DVD, TV or listen to one of her many CDS. She loves music, playing cards and doing jigsaws.
Angela likes to be busy, and has a full timetable of activities, including cleaning her flat which is “boring”. She can walk freely around the village, and can independently access her activities. One of her tasks is delivering the mail to the residents. She loves the cafeteria and has quite a sweet tooth.
Angela likes routine, structure and does not do well with change.
She regularly uses the hydrotherapy pool, and has attended many courses and clubs including office skills, life skills, glass fusing, pottery and crafts, Challenge Club, Railway Club (trains are a passion), travelling independently to Reading to visit the library and Starbucks by train.
She was travel trained over a period of time to ensure her safety and increase her confidence. She also has a job working at Holme Grange Farm in the Tea rooms, setting and clearing tables and folding napkins. When we visited her recently, we went there for a cup of tea and a cake and she asked me if she would get the sack as she hadn’t been there since Covid.
Angela likes routine, structure and does not do well with change. She constantly checks her watch to make sure she is ready for her next activity. Angela suffers with immense anxiety, which can impact her functioning and this is managed by considerable input from the staff. Before the anxiety issue was addressed, Angela would self harm by scratching her face, banging her head and screaming.
Any change such as moving her away from her home would be so detrimental to her mental health.
When our parents were alive, she would come for “home” visits and the first thing she would ask as she arrived was “What time am I going back to Ravenswood” and “Who is taking me back to Ravenswood”.
The staff at The Green know and love Angela and she loves them. The care she gets and the understanding of her needs is not something that can be learned overnight and such a major change, should Ravenswood close and she be re housed, would be disastrous to her emotional and mental health.
She is very sociable and tells us she has 3 boyfriends, and they live in different parts of the Village, and she would find it very hard to not see them on a daily basis, again impacting on her mental health and sense of security. Ravenswood, the staff, the relationships that Angela has developed form her secure base, she is securely attached and taking this away from her would be totally detrimental to her well-being.
Our parents have recently passed away, and they believed Ravenswood offered life-long care to Angela, it was what they wanted for her, and our mother often said “I thank G-d everyday for Ravenswood”.
Susan and Stephen
Angela's sister and brother
Ravenswood Village is currently under consultation with the possibility of closure. Please show your support for our families and friends to keep their home by signing the petition below. These are vulnerable people who deserve to continue to live where they feel happy, loved and safe.