New name and new era for Chailey Heritage School

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Chailey Heritage School has changed its name in recognition of the evolving nature of the work done there, and in response to the changing needs of the children and young adults in the community with physical disabilities.

It will now be known as the Chailey Heritage Foundation, to reflect the scope of the work of the charity.

Within the umbrella of the charity there are now three distinct parts: Chailey Heritage School is for children and young people aged between three and 19 with complex physical disabilities and health needs; and Chailey Heritage Children’s Home offers specialist residential care for pupils of the school.

The third and newest part is Futures@Chailey Heritage which assists with transition to adulthood and independence with a mix of accommodation (for some) and pre-bookable life skills provision for the wider community of young adults with disabilities, aged 19-25.

For the past year the charity has been refurbishing a Listed building on the site to offer a range of facilities and activities that are not readily available to young adults with physical disabilities in the local community.

The new, state-of-the-art Life Skills Centre, which will operate like a leisure centre / community centre for young adults with disabilities, opens in early April, and there will be open days with guided tours (March 15 and 19, and April 4 – email futureslifeskills@chs.org.uk or telephone 01825 723723) to show what the centre has to offer.

Facilities include a fully accessible kitchen and utility area with specially adapted equipment such as ‘rise and fall’ counter tops and ‘talking’ appliances, so that young adults can learn about preparing meals and undertake general domestic tasks with more independence.

There is a gym with specially adapted equipment, a sauna and spa bath, a wheelchair-friendly ICT suite, an arts and crafts room with a small kiln and a living skills area. There will be classes such as pilates, yoga and circuit training using specially adapted equipment.

There is also a treatment room for hire to provide services such as hairdressing, beauty therapy and chiropody. All activities are accessible for young people with physical disabilities at all levels.