Mendip makeover: Accommodation for vulnerable people made accessible, thanks to Council grant

Grace harris house for vulnerable people receives council grant

Mendip has helped a charity transform its accommodation for vulnerable people in Shepton Mallet.

Grace Harris House, owned by YMCA and funded by the Council, recently underwent major renovations to two ground floor rooms, thanks to £60k funding from Mendip’s Disabled Facilities Grant (DFGs).

The grant made the rooms wheelchair accessible and was used to install level-access shower rooms and kitchen counters, as well as a ramp from pavement to the front door. A power assisted door entry system and controls will also soon be completed.

The rooms will be used as safe, temporary accommodation for disabled residents, vulnerable to homelessness. The support provided will help avoid any potential crisis, and see them work their way towards sustainable long-term housing.

Gillian Bannell, Senior Accommodation Worker at YMCA Brunel Group, said: “We have worked closely with the housing department at Mendip District Council for many years, to provide housing and support to those who need it.

“The grant from Mendip has enabled these rooms to better meet the needs of people with disabilities.

“Both rooms are occupied, and the feedback has been very positive – a great example of partnership working!”

Cllr Richard Pinnock, Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, said: “With there being a shortage of adapted and accessible temporary accommodation in Mendip, it was imperative to tackle this project and support our most vulnerable residents.

“Our Disabled Facilities Grants have proven time and again they can change lives, and we are proud that Grace Harris House can be a safe and accessible place for disabled people to stay.” Grace Harris House was transformed through partnership working from Mendip District Council, YMCA Brunel Group, Adult Social Care and Somerset Independence Plus.  Disabled Facilities Grants are means tested grants available for adaptations so that disabled people can live independently and safely with the facilities they need.

For information on how to apply, please first contact Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 (Press 2 – Adult Social Care), to request an Occupational Therapy assessment.

For information on all Mendip District Council’s grants and loans, visit:

Main image Picture captions:
L-R: Jeremy Manners, Private Sector Housing Team Leader (MDC), Helen Mumford, Housing Occupational Therapist (SCC), Cllr Richard Pinnock, Portfolio Holder for Housing Services (MDC) and Gillian Bannell, Senior Accommodation Worker (YMCA).