A seemingly small problem – a life changing result with the support of a
Somerset Village Agent.
Lewis Horn Considine, aged 6 from Marston Magna has complex health needs which are life limiting and uses a wheelchair. He needs to be kept warm for medical reasons and his parents often have to take him to hospital as an emergency as he has epilepsy and frequent chest infections. They live in a cul-de-sac and have been struggling with the street parking situation. The family needed to be able to park their adapted vehicle directly outside their home in order to respond to an emergency situation at a moment’s notice and to aid their son’s day-to-day life. Parking in the street is always very difficult and has caused tensions with the family’s neighbours.
The family needed access to their vehicle at all times to ensure their son could receive the medical care and attention he needed. To do this, they needed to create a parking bay, like many of the other properties in the street. This resulted in a complex process of 18 months work and support which was provided by Andrea de Berker, the Somerset Village Agent.
Andrea played a vital role co-ordinating the relevant organisations, assessments and installation of a much-needed parking bay at the family home which is owned by Yarlington Housing Association. The Village Agent has liaised with Yarlington, Somerset County Council Occupational Therapists, BT Openreach, Somerset Highways, React and the Somerset Masonic Charity. The Community Council for Somerset (CCS) has processed all the payments.
The process was by no means straightforward and the family were faced with a number of complications, outside the property. Below the ground was the BT Openreach chamber indicating the surface / structure needed to be made safe, the pavement possibly needed adjustment / access assessment. And, of course all this work came at a cost. Our Village Agent sourced service providers to conduct full surveys to ensure an accurate quote for all works. This meant that £1650.18 needed to be raised before the work could be done.
The Village Agent sourced grant income and applied to React, a charity which supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families. They made a grant of £825 which was half the cost. Andrea then applied to the local Masons in Somerset who very kindly donated the balance of the monies needed and a little extra.
The work is now complete and the family can relax in the knowledge that if they need to get their son to hospital they are not faced with any stress in getting to their car.
The family are clear that without the intervention of the Village Agent it would not have happened.
Sam Horn, Lewis’s mother said: “No words can describe the heart felt thanks that we owe Andrea for helping us through what seems to be an endless battle. We finally got there but only thanks to her dedication.”
Andrea de Berker Village Agent said: “I am so pleased the issue is now resolved and the family can feel more relaxed knowing they can access the car with ease and at a moment’s notice. We are also grateful to the Masons and to React. Without their financial contribution, the work would never have been done.”
Barry Scott from Somerset Masonic Charities said: “Steve Defries co-ordinated all the local Lodges and it really is down to his hard work and commitment that this money was secured.
We exist to help those in the local communities, who are particularly in need. The separate Freemason’s Lodges are an essential woven part of that community, therefore it is natural to want to put a little back into it. Whilst this appeal directly concerned only a small group, the need touched the hearts of many Masons, and that it also served to assist the wider community at Marston Magna as a whole, by easing road access. We cannot, in consequence, imagine a better use for the money.”