East Holton Charity merger with Livability to create more Dorset services for disabled and...

Livability is delighted to announce a merger with the Dorset-based East Holton Charity, known as Holton Lee. Holton Lee’s work includes wellbeing, arts, horticultural and inclusion projects for individuals and groups, in an outstanding 300-acre nature reserve near Poole.


Commenting on the merger, Livability’s chief executive Dave Webber said:

‘We’re very excited to announce this merger, because opportunities to bring together two such complementary organisations don’t come along every day.  We share the same practical Christian ethos – to create livable communities, and support people to live well whatever challenges they may face. Together we’ll enhance each other’s work and we’re looking forward to a very dynamic future.’

Holton Lee will be renamed ‘Livability at Holton Lee’, as the centre takes a key place within the nationwide Livability family of services. ‘This is a great opportunity and a great step forward for Holton Lee,’ says Holton Lee’s chair of trustees Frank Litchfield. ‘Joining with Livability enables Holton Lee to reconnect with its Christian roots in a way which is meaningful and relevant for the needs we see today. This means many more people will be able to experience Holton Lee’s unique holistic, therapeutic approach.’ Plans for the future include opening a Livability at Holton Lee rehabilitation centre for those with complex physical care needs. Holton Lee’s staff will remain in post.

holton-lee-mergerBoth organisations were started by Christian philanthropists, and both major in work with disabled and disadvantaged people. Holton Lee offers a wealth of programmes, including accessible accommodation, outdoor pursuits, horticultural therapy, and arts activities, on their environmentally-protected coastal site. East Holton Charity was founded by Sir Thomas and Lady Lees in 1992, and is host to several other charities, all working under a wellbeing and inclusion banner. Holton Lee’s own projects have impressive outcomes, with up to 75 per cent of service users saying their wellbeing increased to high after attending a Holton Lee course. Livability, created in 2007 by the merger of the Shaftesbury Society and John Grooms, works across the UK and overseas to improve wellbeing and life opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people. The charity supports about 1,000 people a day through a wide variety of services from accommodation to lifelong learning, and from complex care to church-based mentoring programmes. Livability already runs a number of services in the south-west, including Victoria Education Centre in Poole, supported living and residential centres, and holiday accommodation.

We will continue to live out our shared Christian foundations by putting our service users’ needs and choices at the centre of everything we do,’ says Caroline Armitage, Livability’s chair of trustees. ‘Livability’s vision is to restore wholeness – physical, mental and spiritual – and to promote health and wellbeing. Merging with the East Holton Charity means we can achieve that even more creatively, effectively and sustainably into the future.’

Visit the Livability at Holton Lee website: http://www.holtonlee.org/