Charity smashes £100,000 fundraising target to transform bungalow into disabled housing

Archway chairman Jim Sangster.
Picture by Jim Irvine
Archway chairman Jim Sangster. Picture by Jim Irvine

A north-east charity has transformed a bungalow into a housing complex for disabled people after smashing a £100,000 fundraising target a full year ahead of schedule.

Archway, which was established by parents and carers more than 30 years ago, launched an appeal in October to cover the costs of converting a property on St Margaret’s Place in Aberdeen.

The house is to offer permanent accommodation for people with learning disabilities from the city and Aberdeenshire and will help them live more independent lives.

The charity has now staged an open day to celebrate reaching its funding target within six months, rather than the 18 months it had anticipated.

The building will open within the next two months, with four adults moving in at that time.

Chairman Jim Sangster said: “We thought that, realistically, it would take 18 months to raise the funds.

“We had to completely renovate and re-develop the property – including converting the garage into two wheelchair-accessible bedrooms, installing ramps at all entrances and exits, creating an accessible bathroom with tracking hoist system, install a new kitchen and heating system, widen doorways, redecorate throughout and create parking spaces at the front of the property.

“Some hidden issues arose, including having to replace the roof, which added to costs, but the response has been amazing.

“We were able to start the work last November and apart from waiting for some furniture to arrive and redesigning the garden, everything else is done.”

He added: “Completion of this project is a new beginning and not the end.

“We hope to build on its success and develop some more supported living services in the future.”

Fundraising for the scheme had been taking place for seven years ahead of the purchase of the house last May, for £320,000.

Archway already provides residential respite and permanent care to almost 200 children and adults with learning disabilities, many of whom also have associated physical disabilities.

It has more than 100 members of staff working across all its services.