Work begins on new £850k respite centre for carers

WORK has begun on a new respite centre for people with disabilities and their families in Burton.


The Mail reported last month how Staffordshire County Council planned to build the five-bedroom centre in Hawthorn Crescent, Stapenhill.

It will replace the existing Stretton Edge centre, in Hillfield Lane, and will offer high quality, wheelchair accessible accommodation.

Staffordshire County Council said the £850,000 centre would focus on ‘dignity and respect for each individual and the highest quality service’, while providing a vital break for carers.

Andrew Clarke, whose 36-year-old son has Down’s Syndrome, is one of the carers involved in the project.

He said: “I’ve been involved in the project from the start and I really hope that people who eventually use the centre enjoy it.

“This will help a lot of people and will give those with learning disabilities their own space.

“As parents of a young man with severe difficulties, my wife and I value very highly the service that respite care gives to us as a family.

“It allows our son to mix with people of his own age and ability and in turn allows my wife and I some break from the daily routine, and as we are both of retirement age, some time to ourselves.”

The news comes after a survey of around 100 carers in the Midlands revealed that looking after a loved-one led to many carers’ own health suffering as a result.

Matthew Ellis, the county council’s cabinet member for adults’ wellbeing, acknowledged the importance of respite centres such as the new Stapenhill site so that carers could maintain their own health as well as the person they care for.

He said: “The critical role that carers play is vital to the individuals they are looking after and also to society as a whole.

“It’s often an immense challenge, meaning that it is essential that carers are able to take a break, relax and recharge their batteries so they can carry on with their caring.”

Work on the centre is expected to be completed by early 2013.


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