The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Princess Royal visits Prestwick

HER Royal Highness, The Princess Royal has visited two very special boys at their home in Prestwick in her capacity as the Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists.

[Pictured: Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal is greeted on arrival by South Ayrshire Council chief executive David Anderson and Provost Winifred Sloan.]

Raymond and Claire Taylor welcomed The Princess Royal to their home so that she could see the specially designed house that was built to help them care for their sons, Daniel and Callum aged 4, who are both severely affected by cerebral palsy.

[Pictured: Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal is pictured in Claire and Raymond’s home along with their sons, family members and representatives from the agencies who made the project possible.]

At the time their sons were born Raymond and Claire lived in a small 2- bedroom flat. Kerry McEwan, Occupational Therapist and Roberta Simpson, Occupational Therapy Team Leader for South Ayrshire Council carried out a needs assessment of the flat and found that it was unsuitable for their special needs and could not be adapted.

Due to the special requirements of Daniel and Callum, adapting an existing property would not achieve the optimum home environment for the children now and in later years. The Occupational Therapists explored rehousing options but there was no suitable property available.

Roberta Simpson approached Ayrshire Housing and asked them to consider creating a purpose built home for the family.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Council Provost Winifred Sloan (centre) presenting a quaich to Robert Taylor (left) and Claire Taylor (right) and their sons to mark the occasion of the visit by The Princess Royal to their home.]

Collaboration between the Council’s Occupational Therapy Service, Ayrshire Housing and their architect presented an opportunity to create a bespoke form of house design that would meet the family’s needs now and in the future. The main requirement was for each boy to have his own bedroom with an en suite shower/bathroom with the ability to have hoist transfer from their bed to the bathroom.

Funding for this very specific house design was provided by the Scottish Government. Construction of the house began in the summer of 2007 and the family moved into their new home in May 2008.

South Ayrshire Council Provost Winifred Sloan who was presented to The Princes Royal during her visit, said: “Raymond, Claire, Daniel and Callum are a very special family who now have a home that has been specifically designed to meet their needs.

“It was clear that The Princess Royal, as Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists, had an excellent understanding of the services that Occupational Therapists can offer, which make such a difference to the lives of people who have additional support needs.

“This project clearly demonstrates what can be achieved when the Council works in partnership with other agencies to provide housing that has been designed and planned for those with complex needs.”

During her visit The Princess Royal spent time with Raymond, Claire and their sons and found out just what a difference the specially designed home has made to them. Representatives from the Council, Ayrshire Housing, and others involved in the project were also present.

The new home, although specially designed to meet the needs of Daniel and Callum, blends in to the surrounding homes and from the outside looks similar to the other houses in the development.

Speaking about their very special visitor, Raymond Taylor said: “My wife and I felt very honoured that The Princess Royal visited our home and listened to us as we explained the difference this house has made to our lives. It was a wonderful experience, and one that we will never forget.

“Claire and I have excellent support from our families, who help us to care for Daniel and Callum. However, this specially designed house means that we can care for the boys now and as they grow up, and we know that we will not have to move. This is more than a house to us, it is our home.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports us, our family, Occupational Therapists, the staff at Craigpark School in Ayr and many others.”

The College of Occupational Therapists is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Association of Occupational Therapists, and operates as a registered charity. It represents the profession nationally, and contributes widely to policy consultations throughout the UK.

The College sets the professional and educational standards for occupational therapy. It provides leadership, guidance and information relating to Research and Development, Education, Practice and Lifelong Learning. In addition, 11 accredited Specialist Sections support expert clinical practice.


The College of Occupational Therapists

South Ayrshire Council

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