A HAVEN OF HOMELY CARE
Tuesday, 25 August 2015 09:09
MSP praises Loretto housing and support project in Grangemouth
Angus MacDonald, the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk East, received a hearty greeting from the residents and staff of Inchyra Place in Grangemouth, when he visited the landmark Loretto Care housing and support project there.
Loretto Care is a subsidiary of Loretto Housing Association, part of Wheatley Group: Scotland’s principal housing, care and community regeneration group, named after the 1920’s Health Minister, John Wheatley. Dubbed the “Father of Social Housing”, the then MP for Glasgow Shettleston pushed through a pioneering housing act which lead to the development of over half a million homes for low income and vulnerable families and spawned numerous housing-related care and support initiatives all over the country.
Loretto Care continues in this spirit of outreach to those in need, and has provided housing, support services and community engagement activities at Inchyra Place since 2002. The team there work with two groups: adults with learning disabilities and people who have experienced homelessness. As a registered care-at-home service and also a registered housing support service, Inchyra Place meets social needs at a number of different levels.
Craig Bruce, the Area Care Manager for Loretto’s services in the Falkirk and Grangemouth area said, “We were delighted to welcome Angus to Inchyra Place and to meet some of the people we work for.”
“Our local MSP was able to see for himself the terrific services we have on offer. For example, the garden area encourages physical activity, boosts self-confidence and gives those involved a sense of achievement. The garden was developed in conjunction with the people we work for. It features a sensory area, fruit trees and a scented garden.”
David Allan, who lives at Inchyra Place, has been actively involved in the horticultural development of the yard by encouraging local businesses and organisations to support it. David remarked, “It was fantastic that Angus could visit. I thanked him for the plants he donated to the garden.”
Customised to suit the wide-range of interests of the individuals staying in the complex, the bespoke community engagement activities at Inchyra Place presently include instrument tuition, music groups, bake-off events, healthy-eating cooking classes, walking parties and outings to parks, funfairs, football matches and other local sporting events.
In this connection, Loretto Care’s Community Engagement and Activities Co-Ordinator, Louise Queen described the job satisfaction staff at Inchyra Place derive from the service they provide. Ms. Queen said, “It’s incredibly rewarding working in our Grangemouth services. You work with a wide range of people who are sometimes experiencing really difficult times. You’re always being challenged to find the best way to work with someone depending on what support they want and need”.
“We support individuals to do and achieve everything they want to - whether that’s at home or in their community. It’s all personalised and tailored to the individual. Our assets-based approach encourages the people we work for to use their strengths, existing skills and their community to recover, live well and achieve their outcomes.”
After being given a guided tour of the facility by Area Care Manager, Craig Bruce, the Falkirk East MSP commented, “I greatly enjoyed my visit to Inchyra Place and appreciated the warm welcome and hospitality I received from the residents and staff there”.
“The accommodation is extremely well thought out and designed, with rooms that are spacious, comfortable and brightly decorated - creating an environment that is immediately inviting. As someone with a keen interest in Nordic art and culture, I was also delighted to note the architecture at Inchyra Place displaying a vibrant Scandinavian style.”
Mr. MacDonald continued, “What I found particularly impressive was the deep commitment of the Loretto Care staff, eager to engage residents in a range of practical and therapeutic projects both on the campus and in the community. Such activities are productive in instilling a sense of purpose and self-worth in the individual – vital for vulnerable people who, through disability or homelessness, have perhaps experienced prejudice or social marginalisation."
“The beautiful, immaculately kept garden, for instance, bears testimony to the way in which people based at Inchyra Place are encouraged to take pride in themselves and in their work."
The MSP for Falkirk East stressed, “It is vital that those in society who feel marginalised or who have encountered severe setbacks and discouragements in life are empowered with a strong sense of their own dignity and value as human beings. Loretto Care helps facilitate this objective with distinction, through a truly people-centred service that provides a variety of practical and therapeutic activities tailored to the specific needs of each individual.”
“Moreover, by being treated as an on-going and interactive process, Loretto continues to develop peoples’ knowledge-base, skill-set and life experience. It is encouraging to see the positive legacy of the Scottish social housing pioneer, John Wheatley, continue to bear fruit a century on in the most practical and productive of ways.”
“I look forward to visiting Inchyra Place again soon, and to helping the project secure further sources of funding in order to enhance and expand this outstanding public service in my constituency.”
Notes: Featured in the photograph at the top of this article are, from left to right, Louise Elliott (Secretary), Susan Paton (Support Worker), Senga Rennie, David Allan, Craig Bruce (Area Care Manager, Loretto Care), Angus MacDonald MSP and Louise Queen (Community Engagement and Activities Co-ordinator).