Family reunited in new bungalow

Scott Woodhouse, from North Tyneside Council; James Walder, finance controller at Kier North Tyneside; Damian Pearson; Coun John Harrison; Nathan Pearson; Michael Pearson; Valerie Pearson; Vincent Pearson; Mayor Norma Redfearn; Russell Pearson; Christine Browell, from North Tyneside Council; and Coun Alison Waggott-Fairley.
Scott Woodhouse, from North Tyneside Council; James Walder, finance controller at Kier North Tyneside; Damian Pearson; Coun John Harrison; Nathan Pearson; Michael Pearson; Valerie Pearson; Vincent Pearson; Mayor Norma Redfearn; Russell Pearson; Christine Browell, from North Tyneside Council; and Coun Alison Waggott-Fairley.

Four brothers are being helped to life together as a family thanks to a new bespoke housing development.

Vincent (34), Russell (27), Nathan (25) and 23-year-old Damian Pearson have the extremely rare and progressive neurological disorder Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, meaning they have complex needs and require specialist care.

For around eight years, two of the brothers had been living with their parents in Wallsend while the other two lived in North Shields.

Now they will be moving into a four-bedroom bungalow, part of North Tyneside Council’s £2m development at Kingsbridge, Longbenton, which has been delivered in partnership with Kier North Tyneside.

The Pearson family was consulted throughout the development of the new home to ensure it met their needs, including four en-suite bedrooms, a hydrotherapy bath and accommodation quarters for a carer for the brothers.

The boys’ parents, Michael and Valerie Pearson are absolutely delighted with the bungalow.

Michael said: “The boys are very excited and are really looking forward to moving in and living together again. We’re extremely grateful to North Tyneside Council, Kier and to all the teams who worked so hard on this fantastic purpose-built bungalow.

“We were fully consulted in its planning and build and we’re very pleased that they listened to our input and lots of our ideas have been included in the final design which reflects the boys’ needs very well. It is a lovely place for our sons to live and for the carers attending their needs.”

The development, on the site of the demolished Somervyl Court sheltered housing scheme, also includes a six-bedroom respite care centre for adults with a learning disability and seven two-bedroom houses which are for rent.

The six-bedroom respite care facility will provide specialist short-break accommodation for adults with a learning disability, and local family carers were also heavily involved in its development and design.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It’s a real pleasure to visit this lovely new home designed to meet the needs of these brothers.

“This is a great example of the council’s housing and adult services teams working together to deliver housing that truly meets the specific needs required to care for some of our most vulnerable families here in North Tyneside.

“To understand some of the specific needs required it was important to work with the family and develop a home which would provide the level of care they need as well as the best quality of life possible.

“It’s great to also visit the completed respite care facility which will offer vital support to families across the borough.”

Kier regional director, Mike Furze, said: “We are proud to have delivered this bespoke project, and are delighted to hand over this specialist bungalow on the development to the Pearson family.

“By working in partnership with our colleagues at North Tyneside Council on their affordable homes programme, we are making a real difference to improving the quality of housing for residents across the borough.”