Haviland Way is one of many locations in Cambridgeshire where the County Council provides services for young people. It supports their families by enabling young people with physical and learning disabilities to take short breaks in appropriate residential accommodation with excellent support. It gives the families some respite and provides a stimulating alternative environment for the young people.
I visit Haviland Way every other month. I do so not as an expert or inspector but as a councillor recognising the Council’s responsibility for young people. Councillors need to know what goes on and the people whom it affects, in this case both young people and the care workers who support them, need to know who’s responsible.
It’s always a stimulating visit. I get to meet the workers there at the time and my visits generally coincide with the residents returning from school so I meet them as well. There’s always a welcome, a cup of tea and a slice of cake!
Last Friday was no exception. The manager of the site was off sick but I was expertly looked after by Mandy Start (centre left in the photo above), Rosie and Stuart. The photo was expertly taken by Graham, one of the young people in residence, who has been coming to Haviland Way for many years.
Haviland Way of course is only a part of a bigger picture without which young people like Graham would not get anything like the opportunities which they get today. It’s very much a part of the ‘every child matters’ agenda that young people like him, he’s starting college this week, get such opportunities so that they can lead fulfilling lives.
For me going to Haviland Way is always a humbling experience. It also makes me feel good about the society in which we live. We do take care of the weaker and more vulnerable members of it and that’s very important to me. There is ‘such a thing as society’.