Making a difference

"This wonderful home is all we hoped it would be and is a benchmark for others caring for profoundly disabled young people. We have been particularly impressed with the emphasis on the care of each resident as an individual, with the programme of activities and therapies both on-site and externally, with the high standards of care and training and quite simply with the love and security in which staff 'cocoon' all the residents - a true home in every sense of the word."

How We Got Here

It seems like only yesterday that we opened the doors of our first Martha Trust Home in Hereford. Our aim was to provide the best possible care for young people with profound intellectual and physical disabilities, and Martha Trust has now become an integral part of Community Care in the county. It is as well to remember and review the journey we had to make to achieve today's success story.

In 1994 the founding trustees, Sarah & Richard Smith, inspired by their youngest daughter Sophie who has profound disabilities, decided to embark on raising the necessary funds to build a home that would satisfy her future needs and at the same time could provide help for as many families as possible, faced with a similar difficult situation to their own.

After considerable effort and support from the community at large, who gave generously of their time and funds, the first Martha Trust home was completed in December 1996 and the first resident arrived in January 1997. Our principles of having no age limit or geographical boundary allows for continuity of care which is so vital for people with profound disabilities and complex needs. We have been full ever since and have 12 lifelong residents and some 14 respite care residents who enjoy life at Martha House.

Over the last 15 years our waiting list grew and parents were telling us that it had become increasingly more difficult to source suitable help and support. Martha House, although able to offer respite care had no lifelong vacancies. The Trustees decided that a second home would help ease the demand and Sophie House was born.

Providing a loving, safe and secure family home environment is the main objective of the Martha Trust, and this concept has been adopted throughout the design of Sophie House. Sophie House therefore has similar facilities to those at Martha House including adjustable height baths and beds, a ceiling mounted hoisting system throughout the building and it's own fully equipped laundry and main kitchen. The therapy centre mirrors the facilities offered at Martha House including a hydroptherapy pool.

Once people became aware that a new home was under construction we started to receive referrals and our first resident moved in on the 1st October 2012. By our first anniversary the home will have it's full complement of 12 lifelong residents and the provision of respite care for several families. Since first opening our doors we have also been able to develop our charitable respite care, which enables families who are unable to get funding to have those holiday breaks that everyone with able bodied children takes for granted.

All in all Martha Trust is a fantastic experience and a wonderful achievement for all those who have so generously given their time and funds. One thing is certain, there are many thousands of families, single parents, foster parents and carers who wish they were lucky enough to have a Home like ours on their own doorstep - somewhere where their son or daughter can be safe for the rest of their lives.