YOUNG adults with a range of learning difficulties celebrated the opening of a new supported living facility.

West Berkshire Mencap unveiled Stella Maris House on Friday at the former Northcroft Surgery following a successful £500,000 refurbishment.

The house will support five young people with learning disabilities, allowing them to live in the community and enjoy a mixture of supported an independent living.

A large amount of the project was funded by Greenham Trust, which contributed £300,000 towards the takeover of the old surgery.

Richard Benyon MP was given ribbon cutting duties. He said: “It is a great honour to have been asked to cut the ribbon and also to be a patron of this wonderful organisation.

“West Berkshire Mencap always does a great job right from the start and it is a great thing for families to know that their loved ones are being looked after well and are living independently.

"I want to say a very big thank you, as always, to Greenham Trust who have purchased it and done it up and made it a fantastic facility for generations to come.

"This is a great location right in the middle of the town so close to all the action is a really asset for our town, the community and for West Berkshire.”

This is the second West Berkshire Mencap housing project that has been supported by Greenham Trust after Heffernan House on St John’s Road, which houses seven people.

Stella Maris House is fully-staffed at all times and all current residents are young adults who have grown up together, with some of them meeting at Mencap’s Bubble Club for toddlers with learning disabilities.

Leila Ferguson, West Berkshire Mencap’s chief executive, added: “We are truly grateful to Greenham Trust who have made this happen.

"We are also immensely proud of the staff and are so delighted to see these young adults with extremely challenging behaviour living in the community enjoying life as independently as possible.

“The model at Heffernan House worked so well that we were keen to do the same again. When the surgery came onto the market, we thought a more modern building would work well.”

Greenham Trust was formed in 1997 and has donated more than £40 million in funding for more than 3,000 local charities, projects and organisations.