North Star helped transform a three bedroom property into an accessible two bed home for Mr Greenland and his wife, who suffers from MS.

The couple’s world was turned upside down after a shock multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Dave and Sandra Greenland, from Gainford, had settled into retired life in Bulgaria. Mrs Greenland, 54, had previously visited a hospital in Bulgaria and was treated for a slipped disc. On returning to the UK to visit family discovered that she was suffering from the degenerative condition MS.

The adaptations have worked towards helping Mrs Greenland, of Teesdale, regain her independence and confidence, as well as providing a safe and secure environment for her to live.

Mr Greenland said: “We didn’t have a home in England, and it seemed like it would be impossible to get one that would be suitable for Sandra’s needs. We were so grateful when two properties came up with North Star in Teesdale. But we couldn’t have imagined the support, hard work and sheer dedication of Alex and the rest of the team in helping us transform the property into a home where we can stay and that’s specially designed to meet Sandra’s needs. It’s just marvellous.

“They helped us every step of the way, allowing us to get the work done in the first place and then providing advice and support throughout the whole thing. It’s our home now, and it’s everything we could ask for to make sure Sandra remains living at home. We got new paths to get level access, extended the bathroom into one of the bedrooms to make it more accessible for my wife and we’ve not got a through the lift door so Sandra can move around the house more easily.”

Alex Newton, a Housing Officer at North Star, worked closely with the couple to ensure they received the support and funding they needed to live safely and comfortably in their own home. Alex said: “The adaptations needed on the property, to ensure it was both suitable and comfortable to live in for Mrs Greenland, were extensive. It was crucial for us that we did everything we could to support the couple and help Mrs Greenland remain living in her own home. We pride ourselves in providing a service that helps people keep their independence and after everything the couple had already faced we wanted to make sure they had the security, safety and reassurance of knowing that they were being looked after and they wouldn’t need to move again. We’re more than just a landlord and we go over and above to make sure no matter what the circumstances our tenants are healthy, happy and have a home that meets their needs.”

North Star provides a range of homes and services that help people live as independently as possible, and offer a vast amount of supported housing services across the North East and North Yorkshire. From homes for older people with support needs, to helping people recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, North Star provides a vast, valuable and crucial service to those who need it most.

The funding system for supported housing is currently being reviewed by the Government, after which a new funding mechanism will be set up. The National Housing Federation and its members, including North Star, are campaigning to persuade the Government to ensure that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.

Angela Lockwood, Chief Executive at North Star, said: “Everyone has a right to choice and control over their lives, and our supported housing schemes and approach to independent living are designed to give them that and so much more. We see so often that people aren’t always given the choices and opportunities so many of us take for granted, but we know people with additional needs thrive in independent living and that it’s a fraction of the cost and of much higher quality than the alternative of residential care.”