High-tech day cen­tre opens

State-of-the-art £3m re­vamp re­places out­go­ing bor­ough sites

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Zoe Drewett zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PEO­PLE with se­vere learn­ing and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties will ben­e­fit from a high-tech £3mil­lion re­vamp at a South Ruis­lip day cen­tre.

Queens Walk Re­source Cen­tre for peo­ple suf­fer­ing with com­plex learn­ing, phys­i­cal and se­ri­ous dis­abil­i­ties has re­opened after a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment.

Hilling­don Coun­cil says the new cen­tre forms part of its ini­tia­tive to en­able greater in­de­pen­dence for vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in the bor­ough.

The state-of-the-art Queens Walk Re­source Cen­tre has re­placed Phoenix Day Cen­tre, in South Ruis­lip, Park View Day Cen­tre, in West Dray­ton, and Wood­side Day Cen­tre, in Hayes.

All three were closed by the coun­cil as part of a plan to save £4.5mil­lion from the coun­cil’s dis­abil­i­ties bud­get by 2014-15.

Tony Za­man, the coun­cil’s di­rec­tor of adult ser­vices, said: “Pro­mot­ing a sense of equal­ity for our res­i­dents was re­ally im­por­tant when de­sign­ing the build­ing.

“We’re mov­ing away from the tra­di­tional day cen­tre and of­fer­ing our res­i­dents a mod­ern fa­cil­ity with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to support their de­vel­op­ment and help keep them healthy and ac­tive.

“Ev­ery as­pect of the de­sign, down to the level of the win­dows or the light­ing sys­tems, have been cho­sen to en­sure that the cen­tre meets the per­sonal needs of all our res­i­dents, no mat­ter how com­plex their dis­abil­i­ties.”

The Mayor of Hilling­don, coun­cil­lor Cather­ine Dann, was joined by coun­cil leader Ray Pud­di­foot and by coun­cil­lor Philip Corthorne, the un­cil’s cab­i­net em­ber for so­cial rvices, at the fficial open­ing f the day cen­tre cently. Mr Corthorne aid: “We are om­mit­ted to r a n s fo r m i n g er­vices for

ul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents to give them greater choice and in­de­pen­dence, so we are very proud to open such an out­stand­ing cen­tre.

“I would like to thank all of our staff and con­trac­tors who have worked so hard to make our vi­sion a re­al­ity.”

The coun­cil has in­vested £3m into the cen­tre in Queens Walk, which now has a mu­sic room and art room to en­cour­age cre­ativ­ity and self ex­pres­sion and an in­ter­ac­tive room with m ove m e n t - c o n t ro l l e d soft­ware that can be ac­ti­vated by any part of the body, in­clud­ing the eyes, giv­ing peo­ple with se­verely limited mo­bil­ity the chance to take part in in­ter­ac­tive games and ac­tiv­i­ties.

A teach­ing kitchen has been adapted so that peo­ple of all abil­i­ties can learn to cook for them­selves, while a hy­dro pool with sen­sory light­ing will help stim­u­late and en­cour­age phys­i­cal move­ment for those with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

A snoozelum and mas­sage room will aid re­lax­ation and well­be­ing through light­ing, colour, sounds and scents, as well as holis­tic ther­a­pies and mas­sage, to aid phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

For dancers and fit­ness fans, a new gym­na­sium will of­fer classes to im­prove co­or­di­na­tion and mo­bil­ity.

And to en­cour­age so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween users the cen­tre has a new sen­sory gar­den and com­mu­nal ar­eas.

The coun­cil’s adult learn­ing depart­ment will be run­ning a range of spe­cially adapted cour­ses at the cen­tre, de­signed and built by Ashe Con­struc­tion.

Pho­tos by Toby Van­develde

n DE­VEL­OP­MENT: (Above) Mem­bers of the new revamped cen­tre get cre­ative; (be­low) the spe­cially-adapted hy­dro pool

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