Having outgrown our premises, in 2013 we began to explore options for the future. An amazing pledge of £1million from Jimbo’s Fund, managed by Leeds Community Foundation, put us in a fantastic position to start researching the best options.
Following a long and thorough period of consultation with our service users, staff and the local community the plans for The Vinery Centre were drawn up. Not only would such a centre provide us with much-improved facilities and a place where we would more easily be able to fulfil our ambitions of providing services to more adults and children with learning disabilities, but it was clear that it would be well used by other community groups and individuals. In addition to that, a desperate shortage of nursery places in East Leeds, coupled with our wealth of experience in childcare, led us to our decision to open a Community Nursery – now called Jimbo’s – as part of the new centre.
In order to turn these ambitious plans into reality we embarked upon a capital appeal to raise the remaining £1.6million required. Although this presented a huge challenge, with the help and generosity of a number of key funders; trusts, corporates and individuals, we secured the money needed for the build.
The Vinery Centre opened in Spring 2016. It features;
- A family support centre, including the Hawthorn play room, parents' room, 1-2-1 support space, and private therapy room
- 2 large activity rooms, for Leeds Mencap clubs or local community groups and activities. May even be hired out for a birthday bash!
- A room for holding meetings or corporate events. This can also be hired out
- A sensory suite for children and adults with learning disabilities (and other groups) and big enough for group sessions
- A soft play room, perfect for safe play for young ones and fun for older children and young people. Can be used for birthday parties too
- A Changing Places toilet, with hoists and changing table to allow dignity for all the building's users
- New kitchen and cooking facilities so that freshly cooked meals can be provided to the groups that require them.
Take a look back at our gallery to see photos of the building as it developed, or watch the video below all about our campaign to raise funds for our fantastic new home!