Church Launches Community Centre Facilities For Disabled

Adults with learning disabilities in South Ribble are to benefit from a new £750,000 community centre. A group of adults from the closed Bymbrig day centre were among the first to use the new facility at Bamber Bridge Methodist Church. Known as The Bridge Suite, the centre houses a worship centre, a large multi-purpose hall, the Marylands nursery unit and before and after school clubs.

Funding for the new building has come from ongoing fund-raising efforts at the church and in the community, together with grants from the National Methodist Church, charitable trusts and a £150,000 injection from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Lancashire County Council Adult and Community Services Directorate contributed £85,000 of capital investment and an additional £20,000 to furnish the rooms and install IT equipment and telephones.

The council’s investment is part of its county-wide modernisation programme to improve community day services for adults with learning disabilities.

The aim is to shift from providing day support services in large, traditional buildings to more flexible community-based support and drop-in centres.

David Custance, head of learning disability services, said: “The Bymbrig day centre is now out-dated and no longer able to meet everyone’s needs. This style of provision is now less appropriate for supporting people with a learning disability. The emphasis is now very much on developing day services that support people in their daily living and which provide opportunities for people to be involved in their local community and have access to local facilities everyone else takes for granted.

“The new building has suitable facilities for those with physical and learning disabilities and complex needs. Most importantly, it is at the centre of the local community.”

All service users, parents, carers and staff were fully consulted about the closure of Bymbrig and the move to the new community centre. No decision has yet been made about the future of the Bymbrig day centre.

The new suite will be officially opened on November 4.