Centre a 'milestone' in care for disabled
VULNERABLE adults with learning and physical disabilities will receive pioneering care at a new £1.8 million centre.
The former Newstead Day Service, in Blurton, has been overhauled and renamed 'Waterside'.
Visitors will be able to enjoy a range of innovative activities to improve their well-being.
Yesterday dignitaries, including Stoke-on-Trent South MP Rob Flello, gathered at the Waterside Drive-based facility to check out its range of treatment rooms.
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The service, which is run by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, currently helps 59 people aged between 18 and 64 years old.
Following the revamp it is hoped the facility will now provide assistance to more residents from across the city.
Council leader Mohammed Pervez said: "This new facility is an important milestone for the city.
"By providing such an innovative, modern and integrated service, it reduces the need to place adults with learning disabilities outside of the area to match their care needs.
"Our investment will save money in the long-term."
Lord Mayor Terry Crowe added: "This is a wonderful facility, and one which our city can be proud of.
"I am a wheelchair user and I am championing the cause of disabled people during my year in office."
The authority has revealed there are currently 224 adults with severe learning disabilities in the city and 832 with moderate disabilities.
Statistics also show that there are more than 1,000 children with disabilities in schools across the city that would benefit from specialised services.
The centre had operated as a day service since 1987. However, 18 months ago a refurbishment programme began to transform it.
It now boasts a music room where users can record their own tunes using an interactive board that monitors movement.
Other pioneering facilities include a sensory room with interactive devices.
Adults can also enjoy cooking lessons in a modified kitchen and IT sessions in a computer suite.
There is also a soft room and physiotherapy area.
Jonathan Walklate, aged 41, of Fenton, who suffers from cerebral palsy and has learning difficulties, said: "It is really nice and I am surprised by how much it has changed.
"I enjoy the music room. This is a nice place for us to meet up."
Sue Waters' 30-year-old son Ian, who suffers from cerebral palsy, also uses the centre.
The 57-year-old, of Meir, said: "This has been a long-time coming and it looks brilliant.
"It needed bringing into the 21st century. The staff have always done wonders here and now they have this wonderful facility."