Before Christmas we completed a merger with the Dorset based East Holton Charity, known as Holton Lee and now known as Livability at Holton Lee. A month on and some exciting plans are already taking shape in an effort to take advantage of this great site of natural beauty.
At the heart of Livability at Holton Lee will be a complex care facility which will provide care for people leaving hospital and for people needing support after a period at home. It will be a very special ‘step-down’ service in this area of special scientific interest, with the opportunity to enjoy the peace and a range of activities taking place on site.
Jill Garner, Chief Strategy Officer, helped to support the merger and is now excited about harnessing Livability at Holton Lee as an area of rehabilitation, creativity and spiritual development.
The aim is to both develop new activities and develop and fully utilise what is already in place. For example, Jill says, ‘There is currently already a service at Livability at Holton Lee to promote wellbeing through horticulture therapy, arts and the environment. Our aim is to develop a more structured programme alongside this as a means of providing life skills and pre-employment training. We would also like to set up a café and offer retail experience.’
Carrying on this theme of harnessing nature, Livability at Holton Lee also hope to develop a camping site which is fully accessible, and already have their sights set on a yurt as a meeting space for groups.
Something Holton Lee and Livability already had in common is the Christian heritage. Livability is the UK’s largest Christian disability charity and aims to use the Holton Lee site as a place where church groups can come for training courses such as the Happiness Course, dementia awareness training and others. Livability at Holton Lee ‘have just run a successful Happiness Course on site for the Holton Lee people joining Livability,’ says Jill, ‘they wanted to find out more about the way we understand well-being and what it means in practice – and I think they loved it! They are a great bunch of people, with energy and commitment and are appreciative of how we are working together and the investment Livability is making.’
Livability at Holton Lee hopes to hold an open day in April or May time for medical professionals and commissioners to show them what has already happened and what plans are in motion. Exciting times all round!