"I will be planning another stay at Enham Trust’s Cedar Park Apartments.”

Respite: Meet Ashley

Ashley shares her story and experience of staying in our respite apartments

Enham Trust has 10 accessible respite apartments, on the historic Cedar Park site. Each of these 10 apartments offers people looking for respite, short breaks, and rehabilitation stays the space, facilities, and optional care & support they need to enjoy some time away in a safe, supportive, and tranquil environment.

For Cedar Park Apartments resident Ashley, who acquired a brain injury at the age of 14, the apartments and services offered, have given her a new lease of life. Here, she shares with us her story:

“I was looking for respite,” comments Ashley. “But all the hospital could offer me was respite at elderly care homes…

“I acquired my brain injury through a cycling accident in the Highlands of Scotland when I was 14 years old; I remember lying on the road, but have no recollection of being in an ambulance or how it happened. My next recollection was waking up in intensive care in Glasgow.

“Listening to my music got me through this time as I couldn’t talk, due to the tubes helping me breathe. I remember seeing some friends and family - it was very traumatising for both me and my family, especially my younger brother.

“I was transferred to a hospital near my family in London, and moved to the children’s ward. I spent the next 8 months in rehabilitation, learning to use a wheelchair so I could wheel myself to the day room and socialise with other children.

“Eventually, I was able to go home at weekends, then slowly my speech came back, and I caught up with my education.

“I was determined to go to University, and after being turned down by several universities because they didn’t recognise my disability. Reading offered me a place and I studied French and Business, I moved into halls and found some independence.

“In 2011, I began to have difficulties with my knees and walking, I find living in a third floor apartment tiring and started looking for new accommodation.

“This is how I found Enham Trust; I recently found their website during an online search, and enquired about housing. I spoke to an advisor and they suggested I look at their new respite apartments. This was exactly what I needed as I was having my apartment renovated to better suit my needs and I could get away for a break and access physio at the same time.

“I have really enjoyed my respite stay at Enham Trust. I have liked the Tuesday choir group, and find that it has helped with improving my memory; also giving me a new found love of singing.

“I shop locally in the market town and have enjoyed supported days out to the seaside where I hired a mobility scooter to get around. They have supported me at my own pace, and encouraged me to take up lots of activities.

“I have enjoyed the slower pace from London; finding relaxing places to read, enjoying the countryside and people-watching.

“I like that there are people of different ages here and the community is friendly.

“I have enjoyed my stay here so much I would like to move here. In the meantime, I will be planning another stay at Enham Trust’s Cedar Park Apartments.”

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