Firm has big plans for grant funding

EXPERTS are investing £7,000 to adapt homes in the Borders to help transform the lives of people with disabilities and other special needs.

Housing and care specialist Blackwood is recognised as Scotland’s leading expert in such adaptations and will carry out the upgrades at properties in the area, as part of a year-long Scotland-wide programme.

It has been awarded more than £403,000 from the Scottish Government to fund the vital work, making changes which dramatically improve the quality of live for those involved.

Blackwood own Tweedbridge Court in Peebles.

Simon Fitzpatrick, property investment manager, said: “Every project is bespoke and tailored exactly to the needs of the person living in the property.

“The differences it can make to someone’s quality of life is immeasurable. It is incredibly rewarding to be in a position to make changes that have such a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Mr Fitzpatrick added: “Simple changes to a bathroom can allow someone the dignity of being able to shower unassisted.

“Making a kitchen more accessible can allow someone to make themselves a cup of tea for the first time.

“We’ve had people delighted because our changes allow them open a window without help.

“These seem like small things that most of us take for granted, but mean an awful lot to the people who are benefitting and dramatically improve their quality of life.”

Typical projects this year will include creating wet rooms, installing level access showers, fitting toilets which also provide washing and drying facilities, installing push-pad door opening systems and also fitting ‘rise and fall’ kitchens, where worktops will lower at the touch of a button.

He added: “We are recognised for our expertise in this area and that is why we received the second biggest Scottish Government grant of this type, despite being small as a social landlord.

“We are always pleased to get this government funding as we have no trouble at all investing it to help people life a fuller life in their own homes. This benefits the individual and their family and in the long term is far more cost effective than paying for expensive care accommodation.”