How The Home Will Look & Why It Is Designed This Way...
These designs were drawn up by an architect - examining all of the regulations and advice on the necessary dimensions of each room for those in a wheelchair - so that you could envision how the home will look when it is built.
STARTING WITH THE HOUSE ITSELF (THE RED BUILDING.) The design of the house was initially based on the houses built by a charity that I have worked with for over 10 years in Swaziland called SLC. Their houses each accommodate 8 children and one mother. They have 3 bedrooms for the children and one for the mother. They also have one bathroom/toilet, one toilet, a kitchen and a living space for the children to play in. Outside the house is a large patch of grass with a play area and an adjoining nursery school. There is also a vegetable patch of similar dimensions to the one in the drawing, a chicken coop and a rabbit hutch.
To accommodate OUR vulnerable young people we required a slightly larger building but with a very similar layout. The entire building (and of course each room individually) has been designed to be comfortably managed by everyone, whether in a wheelchair or with trouble walking. HOWEVER, 'Wild Anchor' will be as natural a space as possible, while still providing the essential comforts. There will be a vegetable patch but surrounding this there will be NO green lawns. Instead there will be wild, flourishing flowers, trees and hedges. Research is currently being done starting with visiting Cae Mabon in North Wales, to see sustainable houses/cottages they have created, to live integrated with the landscape. I'd like to avoid the use of deep concrete foundations if possible. All research will be published as I continue to fundraise, to decide on the best building materials for Wild Anchor.
THE BATHROOM & TOILET. The bathroom and toilet have been designed as separate rooms so that they can be used most efficiently by 8 people - especially by those who don't require much physical care - and so that each youngster in a wheelchair can most easily be helped to bath in the evenings. The bathroom will hold one bath with a door to open to allow access so the individual can sit in the bath more easily and without needing to be lifted up and into it.
THE BEDROOMS. We have designed 2 triple and one double room for the young people, to start with. This is based on how the rooms were allocated at SLC. Over time it is understandable that the youngsters will need more space as they grow older and that living arrangements may need to change: subsequently we have designed for a much smaller building to be located just off from the main building. This smaller building - currently labelled 'School Room/Admin Office' will initially be a base in which the young people can learn and build confidence but can also become an extra living area/bedroom for those who want more space.
THE LIVING AREA/PHYSIO SPACE. This space was VERY carefully thought out with much discussion with the architect. We decided on 2 large tables (placed as you can see them in the 'Main Floor Plan') so that all of the occupants - especially those in wheelchairs - could easily be part a family meal where everyone eats together as much as possible. The space will be filled with mats for physiotherapy and rehabilitation classes and will also have the affects of home: sofa, bookshelves, toys, board games, blankets and a TV/Music Player (One young woman especially likes to dance!)
SUSTAINABILITY. The MMTO model is based on the fact that - as charities like The Princes Trust and Comic Relief use - a significant lump sum (in this case, £1,000,000) can be securely placed in a trust that offers reliable interest per annum. For MMTO's requirements (see the balance sheet below) we need only a maximum of £23,000 per annum. This means that the MMTO home can be run on the interest alone and be a guaranteed home for life for these 8 vulnerable young people who have - up until now - been left struggling and incredibly isolated. HOWEVER, in the interests of good health and sustainability, the MMTO house will copy the example set by SLC and plant a sizeable vegetable patch where those who are able (plus community volunteers and friends) can grow fresh fruit and vegetables every year. There will also be a chicken coop (incredibly high animal welfare, only the eggs will be eaten & the chickens will live out their lives) to provide fresh eggs, a solar panel incorporated in the build & a Rain Catcher with water filters.
SECURITY. The entire compound (for want of a better word) will be surrounded by a high fence, an electronic sliding gate and security cameras. This kind of security is standard within the local area and has been costed into the build. As much as possible, opportunities for local wildlife to move within and around the compound will be integrated into the build without undermining the residential security.
SCHOOL ROOM/ADMIN OFFICE. As previously mentioned, this small building will initially be a school room and office space with the potential for adaptation. You can see the plans for the building in the slides above. It is the light blue building in the top most sketch and can also be seen on the plans labelled 'East Elevation' and 'West Elevation.' (Research is currently being done starting with visiting Cae Mabon in North Wales, to see sustainable houses/cottages they have created, to live integrated with the landscape. I'd like to avoid the use of deep concrete foundations if possible. All research will be published as I continue to fundraise, to decide on the best building materials for Wild Anchor.)