FEATURED | National Star – Improving the lives of young people with complex disabilities in Herefordshire

National Star at Hereford is growing and they are expanding their services for young people with complex disabilities from the local Herefordshire community, and they urgently need your help.

National Star at Hereford offers life-transforming programmes combining learning, personal development and specialist therapies along with a high level of support for people aged 19 to 25 years old who have physical disabilities and / or acquired brain injuries, alongside associated learning, behavioural sensory and medical needs.

Most have complex learning difficulties and disabilities. They support young people to develop their sensory awareness and their understanding of cause and effect, whilst improving their social and communication skills, learning how to make personal choices and building their self-confidence. All this is integrated with speech and language therapy and physiotherapy.

Mark’s Story – When Mark started at National Star at Hereford three years ago, simple tasks, such as eating lunch, crossing the road or walking from one room to another were huge challenges for him. Mark has autism, is sensitive to noise and needs time to process information and put those thoughts into action. His condition had an impact on his entire family as they learned to be patient and to allow Mark the time he needed to complete tasks. National Star worked with Mark to enable him to manage his condition and develop his confidence and communication skills. Now he is thriving. He volunteers in a shop as part of his work experience, socialises with his peers and can cross the road safely.

‘National Star has made me more confident,’ says Mark. ‘I can now talk to anyone. I like the staff at National Star, they are kind.’

The support from National Star has been phenomenal and Mark has got his life back,’ says his mother Heather. ‘He’s using his mind for himself and making his own choices. He’s enjoying his life.’

The demand for specialist support in Herefordshire is growing, and they have outgrown their current base in Hereford and have secured a new permanent home at 1 Ledbury Road, Hereford, which is centrally located, with easy access to community facilities. The property was previously used for local children’s respite services, and they are pleased to be bringing it back into use to support young people with disabilities, however they need to refurbish the property to ensure it has the right accessible and specialist facilities needed by the young people that they support. These include seven long-term supported living bedrooms, en-suite specialist bathrooms, an accessible kitchen and living area due for completion in autumn 2019 and specialist learning, life skills, therapies and sensory spaces due for completion in summer 2020.

Purchasing and refurbishing 1 Ledbury Road will be a major commitment to expanding and improving National Stars provision in Hereford. They need a wide range of support to help make this project possible, and need to raise £100,000 to help complete and equip the refurbishment and turn the property into a warm and welcoming place. Are you able to help them? With your help they will be able to support more young people with complex disabilities like Mark to have the opportunities and support they desperately need to progress, to grow and to flourish.

You can make your donation to the Hereford Appeal here.

If you would like more information about the Hereford Appeal please email herefordappeal@nationalstar.org or call the Fundraising team on 01242 524478.