Sunday, 23 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Sunday, 23 June 2024

Learning disabled adults in Bedfordshire celebrate the opening of their new ‘pub’

LEARNING disabled adults in Bedfordshire have celebrated the opening of their new summer house, made possible by generous funding from local families and donors.

In July, residents, staff, families and friends all came together at learning disability charity Hft’s residential service in Shefford to mark the opening of their new summer house, known to the people supported there as ‘the pub’.

The facility, named The Buzz Inn to reflect the biodiversity theme of the project, has been fitted with a comfortable seating area, a non-alcoholic gin bar and a coffee bar so the people supported at the service have an accessible hangout area that is separate from their residential space.

Despite the heavy rain on opening day, a large crowd gathered to enjoy soft drinks, a buffet and a performance from the Corby Male Voice Choir, based in Northamptonshire, in celebration of the official opening of their new local.

Learning disabled adults in Bedfordshire celebrate the opening of their new ‘pub’

Shefford Town Council’s Mayor, Ken Pollard, was also in attendance. He gave a speech prior to the ribbon-cutting and lent his civic chain to some of the residents for them to try on.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” according to one resident, while another said: “I love it, it makes me so happy”. Yet another resident has already enjoyed a ‘pub lunch’ with their family in the new facility.

Claire Davies-Sond, Registered Care Home Manager said:

“The best part of all of this is that it’s life-changing for the people we support. We involved everyone in this project, did our background work and it has really paid off. It’s the best thing for the people we support, each and every person has already used their pub and the Honey Hut, which is an outside sheltered area where they can sit and enjoy the gardens and wildlife.

“Some people just listen to the music playing and they will often get up to dance while others enjoy a coffee under the shelter, which some say is the best part of their day. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to know the people we support are happy.”

Learning disabled adults in Bedfordshire celebrate the opening of their new ‘pub’

The project initially came about following a discussion with residents who wanted to replace their old summer house that was unusable and in disrepair. They required more funding to complete the project so Hft’s community fundraising and partnerships teams worked together to find donors who were well-suited to this particular project.

The project cost around £13,000 to complete and was funded by three donors, including The Honeyman Charitable Trust. Ian Honeyman said:

“Everyone involved in building the summer house at Hitchin Road should be really proud. They have produced a magical place for the residents to enjoy.”

Don Pilkington, whose family also donated funds to the project said:

“This most important project provides a relaxing space for those who live here. Their well-being is of great importance and the atmosphere created by the new space is lovely to witness.”

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