Read about Clive in his blog here...

Clives Story

Leading Hampshire-based disability charity Enham Trust supports over 7,500 disabled and disadvantaged people across the country to live lives of choice, control and independence; providing housing, care, and employment & skills provisions to enable individuals to make the transition towards greater social and economic independence.

Listening to, and understanding the individual circumstances of, our beneficiaries is a vital component of our work; allowing us to develop plans that are both personal and relevant.

Our unique transitional support, award-winning wheelchair-accessible housing, and continuing work alongside local authorities empowers and enables our disabled clients to confidently make the journey from 24-hour residential care to independent living within the local community.

For 39 year old Clive, who has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair, the recently reimagined Enham Way – a 3.4 mile pathway linking Enham Alamein with nearby Andover town centre, redesigned and implemented in partnership with Test Valley Borough Council to achieve full wheelchair accessibility – has been his pathway to true independence.

“I’ve been at Enham Trust since October 1998,” explains Clive. “In 17 years I’ve seen a lot of changes here! I started off in Cedar Park, in one of the ‘shoe box’ rooms – nicknamed that because they were so small – and moved to one of the 3 24 hour care homes where I lived for many years. 2 and a half years ago I progressed into my own bungalow at Weston Court.

“I feel quite emotional about the demolition of Cedar Park. Although it will make way for a wonderful facility, I’ve got so many great memories of that place from my first years at Enham Trust; like going drinking with friends at the weekends (or whenever we fancied it)!

“Moving to Weston Court was amazing at first; it was something I’d wanted for a long time, gaining my own space and complete independence. I loved being part of a community, socialising with my neighbours and tending to my own garden. But now, I’m ready to move on to the next stage of my life…

“I’m no stranger to going into town on my own, in my wheelchair. I’m a very social person and I love going into town for a drink. I’m also pretty headstrong and very independent! Like any ‘normal’ (!) person, I go into Andover to do my shopping, go for coffee or just browse the shops – being able to go into town on my own is important to me, like it is for anyone.

“Before the Enham Way was redesigned, it was pretty difficult to get into town – although I did try quite a bit – it was bumpy, narrow, and a bit of a pain! It did make things harder for me and when going into town, it was easier to use taxis. Now that the path has been made wide enough for wheelchairs, it’s much easier to use and I go into town more often, without having to rely on other people for help, like my Personal Assistants, or wasting money on taxis.

“It’s opened up a new level of independence for me and made me even more determined to realise my next goal: moving into the village! I love the idea of being part of the community again, going round to neighbours’ houses for coffee and being closer to town.

“I’ve never believed that having a disability should stop me doing anything I want to do. Disability is a mind-set; it’s what you make it.”

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