Princess Anne made a visit to Livability’s Brookside House in Edgware on Wednesday, as the charity’s patron. She rounded off her day with a dinner as Master of the Corporation of Trinity House.
Brookside House is a home for disabled people, which assists them in learning how to lead full lives and become a vital part of their community. The main purpose of the Livability charity is to work with the vulnerable and disabled to break down any barriers that may cause them to feel and become isolated socially. Based on the tenants of wellbeing and inclusion for all, the charity provides a wide range of services including education and training in order to help build a connection between the community and members of Livability.
The Princess Royal received a tour of the facility, which consists of 22 flats for residents, the majority of which are profoundly disabled. While visiting one of the married couples, Peter and Debbie, the Princess learned about the success that the couple has experienced by using assistive communication technology. In Debbie and Peter’s case, the couple uses the Alexa device which has helped them to increase their independence by making it easier for them to call their family as well as staff and even makes it less difficult to control the environment in their flat.
The couple shared with The Princess Royal that it has become possible for them to speak to Peter’s family in Spain with the Alexa and they had recently travelled abroad to visit relatives for their anniversary.
Additionally, the charity is equipped with 32 residential care homes based throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, residential support centres, a school, a further education college for disabled students as well as independent and supported living programmes, rehabilitation, care and support for disabled people. Residents have a wide variety of activities of which to choose from in the quest to boost their wellbeing. Some of their options involve them venturing out into the community, such as becoming a member of the community choir, taking part in yoga classes and even participating in club level wheelchair football.
Recently, Brookside House received the “outstanding rating” from the care inspection body CQC, quite an achievement for them.
The Activities coordinator Richard Peel spoke with Anne about the assistive technologies that have been embraced by the charity. Residents at the Brookside House have access to a projector and large screen in the living room to watch online tutorials, educational programmes and for entertainment. One of the newest technological items that is being used is a blood pressure monitoring system. This new device has the capability to send instant blood pressure readings to the resident’s GP.
On hand to discuss the new system with Anne were GP Dr. Dattani and former Chair of Barnet CCG Dr. Debbie Frost. The doctors elucidated to the Queen’s daughter about how the immediate feedback of any changes in blood pressure, whether it be large or small, can result in significant improvements in one’s overall health and wellbeing.
Once her tour had concluded, The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit to the house. Livability CEO Sally Chivers thanked The Prince of Wales’ sister for all of her support for the work of the charity.
In quite a lovely, sentimental gesture, 87 year old resident June Hill, who has been supported by the Livability charity since she was young, gave Princess Anne a beautiful posy at the end of the reception.