Extra £100,000 means 30 more disabled home adaptations in Plymouth

An extra £100,000 is now being spent on improving facilities in disabled people’s homes in Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council’s Investment Board agreed the extra funding over and above the £800,000 that the authority was already committing to spend in 2014/15.

The move means an additional 30 homes in the city are having a number of improvements including grab rails, stairlifts, and level access bathrooms this financial year, which is earlier than expected.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety, said: “We are delighted to be able to invest this additional money to improve disabled facilities in people’s homes. The extra money agreed this year means these adaptations have been completed earlier than planned, in advance of our legal requirements.

“This will improve people’s quality of life and ensure they are able to live more independently in their own homes.

“Although we are living in times of austerity we know that we need to do everything we can to support people in Plymouth.

“These are often simple measures but they can make a huge difference to people’s lives.”

Carla Riley-Wood, of Tavistock Road, Plymouth, is among those to benefit from the new grant.

Carla survived childhood cancer having beaten It 3 times at age 7,8 and 14, but lost a leg as a result. She recently got a new prosthetic leg and has been able to walk again for the first time in 26 years.

As a result of the Council’s extra £100,000 on disabled facilities, Carla has benefitted from a new level access shower room and a stairlift.

Carla said: “It’s fantastic and will make a huge difference to my life – I will be able to be much more independent as a result of these adaptations.

“With my new false leg my mobility has recently got better and for example I can make my own lunch without having to rely on someone else.

“The stairs are still a struggle and I used to struggle to get in the bath so both the stairlift and the new bathroom will give me a much better quality of life.”

Carla lives with boyfriend Simon and children Bethany, 16, Max, 19, stepdaughter Heather, 19, and granddaughter Maddison.

Carla uses her experience to help other families with children with cancer, up at Derriford Oncology Centre, and also runs the Bring On The Smiles facebook page.

Carla said: “I hope that my story of surviving childhood cancer and my new lease of life gives hope to others who are suffering.”

You can find out more on Carla’s facebook page – just search Bring on the Smiles on Facebook.