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Keys to the door

14 March 2019

Jessica has just moved into a supported living apartment and she’s thrilled to be starting a new life. Read a mother’s point of view.

“She is learning to be independent and has a great social life but it feels strange without her at home,” says Amanda whose daughter, Jessica, has just moved into Kisharon supported living.

Jessica, 21, a former pupil at Kisharon School, moved into an apartment in Golders Green at the end of February, a long-standing ambition after seeing siblings move out. “It’s so far, so good, and Jessica is very happy,” Amanda said.

Amanda, husband Laurence and their other children Jono, Ben, Elliot and Shifra live in Edgware but with groups she belongs to in Golders Green and friends there, the new location is already giving Jessica a better social life than she could expect at home.

Jessica is the Nesbitt’s third child so Amanda isn’t experiencing empty nest syndrome just yet, but not having her at home was an entirely new experience.

Amanda explained: “For almost 22 years all of our lives have been dictated by Jessica, when we can go out, when we can’t go out. It was certainly quiet here on Shabbat. When my other children moved out of home, to university, they could wash, cook and organise themselves. Jessica is never going to do that. I am entrusting her support worker to take on my role and that takes some getting used to.

“Jessica has already put up her favourite poster in her bedroom and out with me in the car, she talked about going ‘back home’ which is a good sign.”

Amanda added: “We want Jessica to be happy and to live as fulfilled a life as everyone else, whatever that entails we want to enable it.

“She enjoys working with children but we also hope she will gain new skills that will help towards a job.

“Moving into supported living was a massive step and it took a while to organise, but it is something Jessica really wanted. We do miss her but she is very happy.”

Kisharon Supported Living Manager Petrona Johnson added: “Jessica is settling in very well. She wanted independence and her own flat and staff are supporting her as she makes her own packed lunch, does the washing and other household chores.”

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“The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of G-d, and deeds of kindness.” Kisharon looks at the person not the disability, teaching Torah, Middos and Mitzvot embracing and cherishing everybody’s special talent and bringing out the best in them.