Ruth, who has been supported by Affinity Trust since 2016, is now advising on the design of a new scheme for people with learning disabilities being built in Markfield in Leicestershire.
Ruth spent 10 years living in restrictive hospital accommodation before moving into her own flat south of Leicester in 2016.
Affinity Trust, Leicestershire County Council and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are working in partnership on the Leicestershire scheme and invited Ruth to join the design team in the summer of 2019. She has since taken part in a number of meetings, and the architects have visited Ruth in her own home to discuss what she likes about the design, and what she would have done differently.
As a result, the designers of the Markfield scheme have taken on board Ruth’s suggestions about storage, lighting, smart technology and more. Ruth said: “It made me feel really happy and positive. I’m glad they are trying to make it perfect for other people, and I really hope that they love it.”
The three-quarter acre site will feature four self-contained bungalows, each with its own garden, as well as a landscaped communal garden. The bungalows will be specially adapted for people with learning disabilities, and the whole site has been designed with their safety in mind.
The new residents will get round-the-clock support from Affinity Trust, so the site will also include a unit for staff.
The site is being developed thanks to a capital grant from the NHS, designed to help people with learning disabilities and autism move out of secure hospitals into the community.
The builders started work on 16 March, with the new residents due to move in from springtime next year. However, Ruth will continue to be involved as the work progresses.