2016 saw the redevelopment work on Gauvain House finish and the first group of students move into their new accommodation. Originally built in 1962, the old building was not designed for the ceiling hoists and powered wheelchairs that today's students need to be as independent as possible and so a complete refurbishment project was necessary.

The redevelopment and reconfiguration of Gauvain House means that we now have 13 en-suite bedrooms with shared common room and dining room facilities on the ground floor. The first floor provides a further 5 en-suite bedrooms with large shared common room and kitchen. This room layout is typical of the shared living accommodation available to young disabled people who live in supported shared settings beyond Treloar's. Both floors are fitted with hoists to enable transfer of the students from their wheelchairs to shower, bed or another more comfortable chair. In addition to indoor communal spaces, there are outdoor seating and games areas for the students to enjoy, plus there is a lovely water feature, wheelchair friendly pathways and raised beds for growing vegetables and planting a sensory garden area.

We were delighted that all 18 students moved into Gauvain in September 2016 and the house is certainly being well used and enjoyed by them. There is a great buzz about the house and many different ways in which the students are learning skills to enable them to be as independent as possible.

At the heart of what Treloar's does is our key objective to help our students realise their potential: part of this is the independence training we provide within the residential houses. We work across a spectrum of independence as the level of self-sufficiency each student can achieve varies. Some move on from Treloar's able to start an independent life; others learn how to make choices and to the care that they need.

Costing close to £1.6 million, the refurbishment project has enabled our students to enjoy the best possible quality of life and help to learn key independence skills. We are incredibly grateful to all our supporters in providing the funding to make Gauvain House ready for the 21st Century and giving our students a chance to live more independently.

If you would like to find out more about the refurbishment of Gauvain, please email Lucinda Gillingham or call 01420 547461.