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Carlisle Mencap celebrates the success of its respite house California House

California House on California Road Kingstown has celebrated its 23rd birthday. California House is the respite house for adults owned and run by Carlisle Mencap.

The house provides vital respite for 5 adults with a learning disability 24 hours day 365 days a year. Up to 5 people can stay in this lovely guest house at a time. Parent carers get a break whilst the guests are staying – this can anything from a weekend break to a fortnights rest for the families. The house also provides long term emergency carers respite for families in crisis.

Oldest member Zena Air 97 with twin sons Ian front and Alan back

As well as celebrating the birthday of the house Carlisle Mencap celebrated a £200,000 refurbishment of the house. The funds raised by the charity have allowed an extension to be built and improvements made. These include a new fully accessible kitchen dining area, news sensory room and a therapeutic and sensory  bathroom with whirlpool bath.

Sheila Gregory, Carlisle Mencap CEO, said: “We created the new look home to make sure we could provide the best possible stay for our guests. Over that last 20 years the needs of our guests have changed dramatically. We now have many members with complex physical needs and anxiety. It was essential we provide the perfect surroundings for their stay. We know that the changes we have made improve the house and people enjoy their visits very much.”

The Major of Carlisle Marylyn Bowman, cut the ribbon to launch the house – supported by Carlisle John Stevenson MP and Carlisle Mencap Chair Christine Bowditch. Christine whose son has a learning disability praised the staff team and said that without respite families like her own would find supporting their loved ones even more difficult.

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