Sophie is a 26 year old woman with cerebral palsy who lives in Oxfordshire. Although Sophie has limited mobility this didn’t stop her from moving into digs to study history at the University of Northampton. Three years later with a degree under her belt and a lot of experience of independent living, Sophie and her family realised it would be difficult for her to live again under the same roof as the rest of the family. Sophie wanted a place of her own and a solution presented itself when her step-Dad Richard saw an advert in a local magazine for the HOLD scheme of shared ownership offered by Advance.
Sophie and her family got in touch with Advance and then searched for months for a suitable property. Her mum noticed a two-bedroom house that came up for sale three doors down from where they were living which seemed close enough to help if needed but far enough to give Sophie the independence she clearly wanted.
Through a combination of a trust fund for Sophie, Advance’s contribution and a mortgage she was able to purchase the house and moved in in 2014. Sophie’s condition restricts her movement and her ability to do physical tasks but this doesn’t stop her helping at her local church and food bank, when she feels able to do so. She has a power scooter that she uses to get around and her step-Dad Richard says he has a hard time walking fast enough to keep up with it.
Richard also said that it gives him and Sophie’s mum peace of mind to know that she has a place to live in the long term that will suit her needs. “We are really happy that Sophie has a home for life, with the right support, and as a very determined person can now live the life she has chosen for herself.”
When asked what a difference shared ownership has made to her life Sophie said: “It’s amazing, it has transformed our lives. I have more independence and we all have a better relationship in our family.”
She urges other people with long term physical disabilities to consider HOLD as a route into home ownership and greater independence.