“This place is fantastic, I’ve been blown away by how amazing it is” – those are apt words to describe a new respite centre in Northolt.
Haydock Respite Centre based in Haydock Green opened its doors earlier this year. The venue provides a warm, supported, safe and spacious home for young people aged 8 and 18, allowing them to have time away from their families who provide care and make new friends.
Councillors Aysha Raza and Kamaljit Nagpal took time out of their busy schedules to pop in last week and meet the staff who run the Haydock Respite Centre in Haydock Green.
Ealing Council commissioned Action for Children to operate the service. Now, under the dutiful care of registered manager Thomas Williams, the home provides a warm, supported, safe and spacious place for young people who have additional needs and are aged between eight and 18.
It gives them a chance to spend time away from home and to make new friends, whilst also giving their family a break from caring. They can even stay overnight.
“Respite is needed just to give parents and carers a break from the day to day caring of their children,” he said.
“It’s a vital service for many families who have children who have pan disabilities and autism. Families are referred to us through their social worker; they’ll come here for a series of tea visits, to get familiar with the building and then we’ll start with overnight short break services.
“Some of the children have been coming here for almost a year and it’s been a really positive start to the service.”
A home from home service
The new building has an open plan dining area and living room, an adapted bathroom with tracking, bedrooms and a sensory room. Plus, there’s a large outdoor living space with wheelchair access for those who enjoy the outdoors, with plans for new additional play areas to be added in due course. The centre also caters for the specific food requirements of each person.
Councillor Kamaljit Nagpal, the council’s cabinet member for a fairer start said: “It’s a beautiful, supportive place for young people to have time away from home, make new friends while giving their families a break from caring.
“It’s really hard work when you’re a sole carer and have to do that day-in-day-out and important that you have a bit of a break.”
‘It’s exactly the kind of place you’d want for your child’
“This place is amazing and is a world away from the service we had before,” added Councillor Aysha Raza, the council’s cabinet member for tackling inequality.
“It was one of our manifesto promises that we would replace the former facility with something that was fit for purpose and was going to hold us in good stead for the future.
“You can tell that the staff love working here. Some of the parents and users have helped design this facility and it’s exactly the kind of place you’d want for your child.”