Duchess of Gloucester opens Bradbury Gardens, National Star’s £6m home in Pittville
National Star students Telma Belo and Georgie Williams had a special visitor to their flat – Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Gloucester.
The Duchess officially opened our new £6 million accommodation for young people with disabilities in Cheltenham.
Georgie, who is 19, and uses an electronic communicator, told The Duchess: ‘This is my first year at National Star and my new home is great. It is important to me because it is the first time I have lived away from my parents.’
Accompanied by Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord-Lieutenant for Gloucestershire, Her Royal Highness chatted to students as they made apple crumble in the communal kitchen and learned about how they use technology.
The Duchess praised the design of Bradbury Gardens – which is in Pittville – and how it enables young people to be independent.
‘Bradbury Gardens is beautiful,’ said The Duchess. ‘You said you wanted to create a place where we’d all like to live. You have achieved that. It’s been uplifting to meet the students.’
Third year student Josh Reeves shares a flat with friend Lewis Fisher. He told Her Royal Highness about his life at National Star.
‘In my new flat I can do my own cooking and my own cleaning. I like having my own space and Bradbury Gardens is a great place to live,’ said Josh, aged 18.
Bradbury Garden was funded through a combination of government support, private donations and support from trusts, foundations and the community.
Designed in consultation with users and staff, Bradbury Gardens enables young adults with disabilities to live as small peer groups and with access to areas for independent living.
The specialist facilities include ceiling tracking hoists, ensuite bathrooms, assistive technology, and height adjustable kitchens and baths.
Outside term time Bradbury Gardens will provide respite and short break services to support families.
David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star, said: ‘Bradbury Gardens has been a real partnership with supporters and funders to create something aspirational. We are honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness.
‘Bradbury Gardens will play a crucial role in enabling young people to develop essential ‘life-skills’ and help equip them with the practical skills and confidence that they need to live more independently in their future lives.
‘By doing so this will transform their quality of life and will liberate families and communities from the need to seek long-term care provision.’
Bradbury Gardens was designed by Cheltenham-based Coombes:Everitt and constructed by Gloucestershire-based company Speller Metcalfe.