Sara's story

The village has been pivotal to Sara leading a genuinely fulfilling life

Sara is 33 years old, she moved to Ravenswood Village at the age of 14 and attended the Annie Lawson School until the age of 20.

She has profound learning and physical disabilities, she also finds change incredibly difficult (which can result in a tendency to self-harm and sometimes, when very distressed, harm others).

Sara has always found it very difficult to accept changes but coped quite well until the age of 11, when she moved to a secondary school for children with mild learning disabilities. The school was not equipped to cater for her needs and so her behaviour spiralled out of control and life at home became very difficult. Not having a suitable school that specialises in supporting young people like Sara near where we lived, we were forced to look for a residential school/home that could offered her the tailored learning that she needed.

Moving to the village wasn’t easy and it took quite some time for Sara to fully settle into her new environment, but she did and the one-to-one support she received brought out her shining personality for all to see. After two years at the village, Sara was supported by the staff in Gila home and the school to undergo a major operation on her back. The scoliosis was getting really bad, if left it would have caused Sara continuous pains and would have left her unable to sit up. I remember that at the time it was so hard to decide for her as she couldn’t for herself. But with the help of her teacher Rosemary and her carers at the Gila, we realised that, whilst painful, the operation would give Sara a healthier and happier future.

Sara has opportunities to get out into the community whilst having a safe and familiar home in which she can thrive

For the last ten years she has lived in Pamela Barnett home, where she is now well settled and has one to one care. She likes choosing her carers and has a very good rapport with them. We visit her regularly, at least once every two weeks. Myself and her father alternate our visits, as she likes doing different activities - I take her shopping and her dad takes her to the Village cafeteria and for a walk.

There was a time when she used to come home for weekends but the change in routine was very difficult for her and led to some challenging behaviour, so the visits had to stop. Due to the pandemic, we were not allowed to visit her for over a year and, although it was very difficult not being able to see her, she coped very well with the help of her wonderful carers who have carried on supporting our family members with love and care, whilst being under so much pressure.

The village has been pivotal to Sara leading a genuinely fulfilling life, surrounded by her friends, people she has something in common with, the incredible carers that have worked with her over the years and the opportunities to get out into the community whilst having a safe and familiar home in which she can thrive. We hope and pray that the village will remain open for the current residents and hopefully for the many that need specialised support, so they can continue to enjoy the peace and security that Ravenswood offers .


Sara’s Mother

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.

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