Jane’s Wonderful Legacy
You would hardly notice the green door as you climb the hill to the main street of the market town of Hexham in Northumberland: a classic house of old brick, but inside live a not so classic family of five.
The occupants are all adults with learning disabilities who, supported by a dedicated team, live an enjoyable and fulfilling life. The house was home for 22 years to Jane Curry, who sadly passed away on 8thSeptember 2013 aged 42.
Jane was the daughter of Donald and Rhoda Curry: brain damaged at birth through lack of oxygen resulting in a severe learning disability but, surrounded by loving parents and her devoted brothers, Jonathan and Craig, she was able to live at home for her childhood years.
Her teenage years were spent at Stelling Hall residential home where she enjoyed the company of other young people. During this time her parents became increasingly concerned about provision for Jane in adult life as support in a Christian environment was unavailable in the area at that time.
After much prayer for help and guidance Donald and Rhoda met up with other like minded Christians, and after, not months, but years of hard work and planning ‘At Home in the Community’ was founded. The ethos of the charity being “…..to meet the needs of each individual and assist them in achieving their goals, so that they can live life to the full”.
The first house was opened in Newcastle, the second in Hexham where Jane was one of the first to make it her home.
Jane was profoundly disabled: she couldn’t talk, although she could communicate in her own way, shaking her head of dark curly hair she made her requests known! She walked as a child but as an adult walked less confidently, and grew less and less able to feed herself as the years went on.
She brought such love and warmth into that house. She enjoyed holidays away from home and wild weather! She went swimming, ten pin bowling, and trips out to parks and to friends’ homes. One great love was to get on the train at Hexham station and travel to the Gateshead Metro Centre, where the hustle and bustle of the malls with their bright lights and sparkling shop displays delighted her.
After a long period in hospital, six years ago, Jane lost the ability to walk and was dependent on her wheelchair.
Jane loved to see her brothers, sisters in law, nieces and nephews as well as extended family and friends.
On the day of her funeral we all remembered Jane for her strong character, squeals of joy and hugs from her seemingly extra long arms. We thanked God for the fact that, but for Jane, her parents would not have been challenged with the need for provision for homes for adults with learning disabilities, and ‘At Home in the Community’ would not have been available for others. The service was a moving but joyous occasion. “The God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” 2 Cor. Ch 1 V 4
‘At Home’ continues to provide support and care for vulnerable adults, supporting them to live in the community with confidence and respect.
Surely this is Jane’s wonderful legacy.