Milestone marks 10,000th night

In 2014, our Residential Support Centre, Milestone, re-opened its doors following extensive refurbishment. This month, the centre provided its 10,000th night of accommodation support since reopening. Here we take a brief look at the work of Milestone, and the part it has played in Waverley Care’s history.

Milestone holds a special status as the place where it all began for Waverley Care. When it first opened its doors in 1991, it was the UK’s first purpose-built AIDS hospice. However, the work of our Residential Support Centre today is a far cry from its early focus on palliative care.

Living with HIV or Hepatitis C can impact on just about every aspect of a person’s life and, at times, we all need just a little extra support.

Milestone is a place where people living with HIV or Hepatitis C can focus on improving their physical and emotional health at times when they are struggling to manage. Our staff are there to support residents to manage their condition well – whether it’s keeping up-to-date with treatment, coping with side effects or accessing appointments. We also offer the opportunity for peer support where residents can share their experiences in a supportive environment.

Fully refurbished in 2014, Milestone has 10 private rooms where residents can spend time. There are also shared facilities including a kitchen and common room where people can get together and welcome visitors. A major advantage of Milestone is its garden. Spending time outdoors has proven benefits for mental wellbeing and the volunteer-maintained garden provides that opportunity.

We strive to create a fun, informal atmosphere, with a range of social activities going on, from drop-in cafes and service user-organised events, to the Tartan Ribbon Community Choir which is open to service users and members of the community alike.

Beyond the direct benefits to service users, Milestone helps to relieve pressure on NHS services, providing the care and support that allows people to leave hospital early or, in many cases, avoid the need for admission to hospital in the first place.

Milestone is registered with the Care Inspectorate and recently achieved top marks for the quality of care on offer. Inspectors also had praise for our staff. Inspections are a great way for us to measure our progress and we’ll continue to work with service users, staff and volunteers to find ways to keep improving the service.

In the 26 years since Milestone first opened its doors, our understanding of HIV and Hepatitis C have moved on considerably. Today in Scotland someone living with HIV and on treatment can expect to live a long, healthy life while Hepatitis C can be cured.

Milestone has adapted to these changes and our focus is now very much on helping people living with HIV and Hepatitis C to live well and plan for the future.