Praise for refurbished respite centre after fundraising backed by parents

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PARENTS and carers of disabled children and teenagers in the Calderdale area have contributed towards the cost of a refurbished and updated respite centre in Halifax.

The Linden Brook centre, in Linden Road, Halifax, offers short stays for disabled children up to the age of 18, that give parents and carers the opportunity to rest.

The council-run centre has recently undergone a transformation, with new multi-sensory equipment, a large touch screen computer that fits over wheelchairs, an update of the decor and improvements to the outdoor equipment.

The finishing touches have now been added with the opening of a new summer house with ramp access, sensory touch/feel walls and electricity.

The house, with financial contributions from the Bearder Charity, friends and family of Linden Brook, and Cheryl Jones (Walk for Autism 2013), has a specialist focus on music, with a drum kit and guitars for young people to use.

A council spokeswoman said: “The centre is moving from strength to strength as is reflected in the recent ‘good’ Ofsted inspection rating, with the inspector commenting that an ‘outstanding’ rating is achievable if the centre continues to develop as it has done this year.

“Young people at the centre were consulted throughout the refurbishment, with specialist questionnaires and communication bags to ensure that those with complex needs can also have their say. The bags include relevant pictures so they can choose which toy, music or activity they’d prefer.”

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, Councillor Megan Swift, said: “Linden Brook is a great facility, and one of a number of centres in Calderdale providing a fantastic service for disabled children and their families. The refurbishment has transformed the centre into a top class facility that people can be proud of.

“The summer house is the last part of the refurbishment, but the centre continues with our commitment to achieving an outstanding provision for young people.”