A great year at the House of Roses

Linda and Mike Barnes have just returned from a visit to the House of Roses, a project which we have supported for many years. It is a home for a group of youngsters with special needs. It is so wonderful to see these young people fulfilling their potential despite their horrific experiences in state care. It is great to know that they have a loving and stable home now.
Here is Linda’s latest update:
The six young residents in House of Roses have enjoyed a busy and active year. As they all have learning disabilities their days are planned to maximise their independence and life skills.
They have a rota to ensure all the household jobs are done – washing up, cleaning, tidying, cooking etc. There are also the animals to be looked after (chickens, 2 dogs, 2  rabbits, fish and budgies). The youngsters feed them, play with them, clean their cages out etc.
Depending on the time of year there are lots of extra activities. In the winter the paths need to be kept clear of snow, in spring the garden needs preparing and then vegetables planted and grown, in early autumn the fruit and vegetables are picked and they all help make jam and bottle up the vegetables for use throughout the winter. 
Ionica, who joined the House of Roses “family” last October has some additional skills. He has a diagnosis of autism but in the past attended a special professional school where he learnt to cook and to do some wood work. He has been able to help fix the rabbit hutch and to help build a kennel for the new dog, Billy. Ionica enjoys cooking and he and Irma make a good team in the kitchen as Irma is very capable and he can teach her new skills. Ionica is very much a loner, and it is difficult to assess if this is due to his autism or to his previous experiences in state care. The staff report that when he arrived he didn’t smile or make eye contact and he now does both of these things. He can read and write and likes to use the computer. This again makes him more advanced than the others and possibly he feels he doesn’t have much in common with them. So it is good when he engages in tasks with the others.
In addition to the 3 full time staff who work shifts there are several student volunteers who come and help several times a week. This is good experience for them, usually prior to starting University, but also great for the young people to mix with lots of different people.
The “family” also attend any events happening in the town. This year they have been to the fair, theatre, cinema and several local outdoor events. They have also enjoyed visits to the museum and to the fire station where they learnt what happens in an emergency.
Several of the young people in House of Roses have already reached their maximum potential but it is important that they maintain the skills they have learnt and live fulfilling lives. House of Roses enables them to do this.
THANK YOU to Humanity at Heart for supporting this project.