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New short break care centre opens

Achieving for Children, with Kingston Council, have just opened Rainbow House, a new, purpose-built overnight short break care centre at the Moor Lane site in Chessington. The building provides short break care for children and young people who may have multiple disabilities, complex medical needs and challenging behaviour, and who are aged 8 to 17 years. The building has seven bedrooms, two lounges, an accessible kitchen, and secluded outdoor space.

Ian Dodds, Director of Children’s Services for Kingston Council said: “We are so pleased to finally open Rainbow House. It’s been a long and difficult journey at times, but thanks to the hard work of colleagues in Achieving for Children and in Kingston Council, and the fantastic input from children, young people and their families, we are now able to see the centre being used and enjoyed. It’s a very proud moment for us.”

We involved parents, carers and young people in the project from the early stages and the feedback we received helped shape and influence the design of the building. For example, young people with special educational needs and disabilities provided input into our kitchen design and decided on the name for the centre.

We were extremely pleased to successfully apply for grant funding from a number of external sources, including the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and this has been used to build a state of the art, accessible and interactive play space in the garden. We have also been able to bring an area of waste land at the Moor Lane site into use as additional grass area for the children and young people at the centre, and for those who access the short break care service at the Moor Lane Centre.

We are delighted to have appointed EnhanceAble as our commissioned provider to deliver the service at Rainbow House. EnhanceAble are a charity, based locally in Kingston, who are wholly committed to supporting people with disabilities to transform the quality of their lives. They have significant experience of delivering overnight short break care services and we are excited about working with them going forward.

Julie Hagarty, Chief Executive Officer from EnhanceAble has said: “I am absolutely delighted that Rainbow House is now open to local children. EnhanceAble feels privileged to be part of this wonderful provision. Feedback so far from the children, young people who have used the centre and their families, has been very positive all round. We have an amazing team of staff, four great managers and the joy of some incredible children. We are so grateful to Achieving for Children for enabling EnhanceAble to partner them at Rainbow House.”

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