The Princess Royal has officially opened newly-built accommodation to enable people with learning disabilities to achieve a greater level of independence in Kibworth.
The development of nine self-contained apartments over three floors is run by the national learning disabilities charity Hft (formerly known as the Home Farm Trust).
It is a national charity providing local support to people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.
The Kibworth development includes several single flats and one larger flat and offers 24-hour support on-site.
The apartments will be equipped with technology specific to the needs of residents to support them to live more independently and safely.
The project has been partially funded by Hft’s ongoing East Midland’s Design for Life Appeal which is working to raise money to provide living accommodation for people with learning disabilities in the county, together with training, employment and volunteering opportunities.
Last Friday, Hft patron The Princess Royal attended the official opening celebrations, which included a guided tour of the property and a meeting with 35 invited guests, including people supported by the charity, employees and donors.
To formally mark the opening, Princess Anne signed a commemorative guest book and gave a speech.
She spoke about her support for Hft’s commitment to creating better outcomes for people with learning disabilities through moving into smaller, more personalised services in the community.
She also commended donors for their generous support raising funds for this development thorough Design for Life.
Hft’s chief executive Robert Longley-Cook said: “We are delighted that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was able to officially open these new apartments.
“This marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the way we support people with learning disabilities through our Leicestershire service.
“We passionately believe that more personalised services within the mainstream community offer the best outcomes for the people we support.
“We have seen people thrive and grow when given the option of where they want to live and who they want to live with.
“These environments also offer greater levels of one-to-one interaction with support workers and easier access to the community so that individuals have the opportunity to build friendships and access work opportunities.
Hft’s vice-chairman of trustees and appeal committee member Nick Townsend added: “We are extremely grateful to all those who have donated to Design for Life.
“Their generous and ongoing support has helped to make this development possible and moving forward will help us continue to meet the changing needs of the people we support both locally and nationally.”
Hft supports 72 people in Leicestershire through a mixture of residential care, supported living and day services or supported-employment opportunities.
In April last year Hft merged with Self Unlimited (formerly known as Care Shangton)and the charity supports more than 2,500 people with learning disabilities across the country.