The Princess in her capacity as the Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists visited two very special boys at their home in Ayrshire Housing’s latest Prestwick development.
Raymond and Claire Taylor welcomed Princess Anne to their home so that she could see the specially designed house that was built to help them care for their sons, Daniel and Callum aged 4, who are both severely affected by cerebral palsy.
At the time their sons were born Raymond and Claire lived in a small 2 bedroom flat. Kerry McEwan, Occupational Therapist and Roberta Simpson, Occupational Therapy Team Leader for South Ayrshire Council carried out a needs assessment of the flat and found that it was unsuitable for their special needs and could not be adapted.
Roberta Simpson approached Ayrshire Housing’s Project Manager Derek McLean and asked him to consider creating a purpose built home for the family. Roberta and Derek were able to build on the longstanding collaboration between the Council and Ayrshire Housing to create specially adapted housing in community settings.
The partnership provided the opportunity for Roan Rutherford of architects Austin-Smith:Lord to design a bespoke house that would meet the family’s needs now and in the future. The main requirement was for each boy to have his own bedroom with an en suite shower/bathroom with the ability to have hoist transfer from their bed to the bathroom.
Construction of the house began with financial support from the Scottish Government in the summer of 2007 and the family moved into their new home in May 2008.
South Ayrshire Council Provost Winifred Sloan who joined Princess Anne, said: “Raymond, Claire, Daniel and Callum are a very special family who now have a home that has been specifically designed to meet their needs”.
“It was clear that The Princess Royal, as Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists, had an excellent understanding of the services that Occupational Therapists can offer, which make such a difference to the lives of people who have additional support needs”.
“This project again clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when the Council works in partnership with Ayrshire Housing to provide housing that has been designed and planned for those with complex needs.”
During her visit The Princess Royal spent time with Raymond, Claire and their sons and found out just what a difference the specially designed home has made to them.
The new home, although specially designed to meet the needs of Daniel and Callum blends in to the surrounding homes and from the outside looks similar to the other houses in the development.
Speaking about their very special visitor Raymond Taylor said: “My wife and I felt very honoured that The Princess Royal visited our home and listened to us as we explained the difference this house has made to our lives. It was a wonderful experience and one that we will never forget.
“Claire and I have excellent support from our families, who help us to care for Daniel and Callum. However, this specially designed house means that we can care for the boys now and as they grow up, and we know that we will not have to move. This is more than a house to us it is our home.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports us, our family, Occupational Therapists, the staff at Craigpark School in Ayr and many others.”