Letchworth centre for adults with disabilities looks to new home to cater for expanding membership

Jackie Nealon (centre) with members and volunteers at the Drop-in Centre.

Jackie Nealon (centre) with members and volunteers at the Drop-in Centre. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth centre which provides a relaxed and safe environment for adults with disabilities is looking to move into a new building which would cater for their expanding membership.

Jackie’s Drop-in Centre, which is based at St Michael’s Road, has submitted a planning application to North Herts District Council with the intention of relocating to the two-storey West View building next to the old Letchworth Grammar School in Broadway.

In 2012, the group secured their premises on Norton Way South with the help of the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, but since then the centre has spiralled from six users to more than 200.

The team at the self-funded centre hope that by moving to a new home in the next few months, they can double their service and give their members access to more leisure rooms, beauty treatments, computers and arts and craft activities.

Centre founder Jackie Nealon said: “The move would be great for us – it is a lovely spot and would allow us to cater for more people.

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“But there is a lot of work to be done to get the building in shape, so hopefully we will get some help from the community.

“The Foundation have already been fantastic in supporting us.

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“Our current building has been beautiful but it was never permanent. It would be really exciting to have more facilities, such as a sensory room for our autistic members.”

Alastair Stewart, who is head of charitable services development at the Foundation, said: “It’s an award-winning organisation providing a valuable local service.

“We have been working with them to identify a new site and they think this one would work well for them.

“Our focus now is to work closely with them to understand what is needed to achieve that move.”

The new premises requires a full renovation to bring it up to the standard where Jackie’s can offer its service, including partitions walls, electrical and plumbing work, a lift, flooring, additional toilets, a kitchen, sensory room and full décor throughout.

If you think you can offer your help or wish to donate to the centre, please email centre@jackiesdropin.org.uk.

For more information visit www.jackiesdropin.org.uk.

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