Stephanie’s Story

In 2017, Stephanie and her mum, Judith, rode 100km into Eilat on a specially adapted Pino bike on the final day of a Norwood Challenge in Israel. Stephanie is still, rightly, very proud of that achievement. Stephanie has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair and has complex needs, including being visually impaired.

But although Stephanie requires one-to-one support for most things, her disabilities do not stop her leading an independent and busy life, thanks to Norwood.

Since February 2017, Stephanie has been living in Norwood’s supported-living, state-of-the-art Lyonsdown “smart home”. The pioneering assistive technology installed in the house gives Stephanie and her housemates the freedom to live a rich life independently, while staying safe. Stephanie can control her environment – for example, open and close her bedroom door – and have fun and learn in the house’s own sensory room. She chooses what food she would like to eat and is accompanied to the local supermarket as part of the weekly shopping. She also creates art using Eye Gaze technology, and took part in a documentary film about her life at Lyonsdown: The Extraordinary Lives of Stephanie and Joe.

Living with her peers, with whom she can access a wide range of activities within the community, and a team that is able to meet her needs, is giving Stephanie the kind of opportunities that any person her age might enjoy. She likes going swimming, having her hair done, going out for dinne and visiting the cinema and theatre.

As her mum, Judith, says: “Living independently is giving Stephanie the confidence to let her sense of humour and mischievous side come to the fore.”

Norwood has been there for Stephanie and her family for more than 21 years. Judith says: “The early years were really traumatic but Norwood was our lifeline. It helped us keep a balance and has allowed us to share our time with Stephanie and our two sons, Robert and Daniel. We have used a range of services, including a support group for me; play schemes and weekend clubs for Steph; overnight and weekend breaks at Buckets and Spades (Norwood’s short-breaks facility), and a host of other services. We have also been very involved with the Transitions team, to get us where we are today.”

However, Norwood’s support extends far beyond today.

It will continue to be there for Stephanie; providing her with a home for life, the support to thrive, and a secure and positive future to look forward to.

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