It is an African proverb (according to Wikipedia) that states that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we're closer to needing a city! It is with that in mind that I write this post.
We have to move home. As Rosalie is not mobile she is likely to need a wheelchair, hoist and various other pieces of equipment as she gets older. The council has assessed our house and concluded that our Victorian mid-terrace house which we love cannot be adapted to suit Rosalie's needs. Tina is hoping to write about what an appropriate house looks like for us soon.
We are very blessed with what we have. We own (with a mortgage) our own home. We both have jobs. We have family and friends close by. Rosalie is at an amazing nursery with super staff who love and care for her and has made friends with at least two other children in her class. We are continually thankful for the provision we have through the council and National Health Service.
Despite these blessings, we can't seem to move. We are very limited in how much we can borrow from mortgage lenders due to both Tina and I being on lower salaries - me working for a charity and Tina working part time. There is a suggestion that I could go back into teaching but I still dread the idea. I left because I had to. Our house has increased in value but so has every other house in the area, and even more so the houses that would be suitable for Rosalie. Even with a 25% deposit, we can't borrow enough to get an appropriate house - at least not those currently on the market.
The government provides a Disabled Facilities Grant which can fund necessary adaptations to a property to make it accessible for a disabled person up to the cost of £30K. This can also be used to help move from a property that can't be adapted. As it is a discretionary grant, the council have said they will give us £5,000 which will only cover our estate agent fees. The total estimated cost of our move is £17,000 in fees (estate agents, conveyancing, surveys, stamp duty and removal costs). We have appealed the initial decision but they have replied with the same offer and an opportunity for a loan to help us if need be. This is obviously not ideal but the council is limited in its own financial circumstances.
Unfortunately we were budgeting for more funding and are now £12k short. We are aware that there are friends (and strangers) who are generous and want to help, and we are so grateful for the help we have received already. We are also exploring trusts and charities that might be able to help so any contacts you might have would be most welcome. If you would personally like to help, we have set up a gofundme here: https://www.gofundme.com/manage/an-accessible-house-for-rosalie
Below is a video of Rosalie's new tech that is now her voice. She absolutely loves the Custard Pie game and has already mastered it as you can see. We are hopeful that in the future Rosalie will be able to communicate through this technology and the world will open up for her. We have only been able to access this because of the generosity of family and a connection to a now closed charity - The Ava Clarke Foundation. We can't thank people enough but we'll let Rosalie's giggles be her way of saying thank you.