Together for Short Lives
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Hope’s Story: fighting for space

Last year (2017/18) John Roden and his family were supported by our Advocacy Project via Richard House. Through a drop-in service hosted at Richard House we were able to help find a happy home for Hope and her family.


John and his family were really struggling living in a tiny two-bedroomed flat. Hope had to sleep in a cot at the foot of her Grandfather and Grandmother’s bed. “It was just not right for Hope.” “Our home was damp, cramped and there was no space for Hope to use the specially designed walker to help build up Hope’s legs and give her some independence.  When Hope was in her adapted expandable feeding chair for meals, it took up all the space in the living room, and you just couldn’t move when Hope was having her meals. “

“I had been battling with the local council and social services for three and a half years – and we had got nowhere. We were stuck, and it was having a really bad impact on the whole family.”

Then we found out about Together for Short Lives’ Advocacy drop in service with LawWorks. They listened to our story and got their head around the facts. Before we knew it they’d written an 18-page letter to the council and made 180 points about our case – it was amazing. It was really reminding their Council about their promises, rules and duties. The result was a miracle!

Almost immediately, and out of the blue I got a call from the Council saying they’d found a brilliant new flat for us. On the day we went to visit, I walked through the front door and said “YES” – I could immediately see how wide the hall and front room were – there was so much space for Hope to explore and use her walker to get about. It was a miracle. It ticked all the boxes and more. There are three bed-rooms, so Hope finally has her own space. There’s a fully accessible lift and the space is perfect to help Hope grow, develop and have more independence.

“It’s made a tremendous difference” The impact on Hope and all the family has been tremendous – you can see how much Hope has developed and become more confident and independent. Her movement is better now she can freely use her walker. And the local community is amazing – something we hadn’t experienced before. We were welcomed and made to feel at home. Our neighbours called round with a meal on the first day – and now we are very much part of the community. Hope is always being invited to parties. It’s lovely.

“Hope is free – and that is absolutely priceless.” All our health has improved as a family – we are so much happier, and healthier. It’s made a tremendous difference to us as a family. It’s our palace.

“We can’t thank you enough for helping – with your support it’s been a total life-changer.”

Family stories