Apartments to increase key services

Blyth Star Enterprises chief executive officer Gordon Moore and living support services manager Julie Dixon in one of the new apartments at the charity's Old Chandlery facility.
Blyth Star Enterprises chief executive officer Gordon Moore and living support services manager Julie Dixon in one of the new apartments at the charity's Old Chandlery facility.

Blyth Star Enterprises has partnered with a national industry charity to help expand its rehabilitation services in south east Northumberland.

The local charity that provides living support, work experience and day services for people living with learning disabilities and lifelong mental health issues is working with national construction charity CRASH, alongside other organisations, on the development of two new apartments at its Old Chandlery facility in Blyth.

Already operating seven supported living apartments in the town, the addition of the new living spaces will enable Blyth Star Enterprises to increase its services to help more people living with complex mental health problems on their journey to recovery.

Having heard about CRASH’s work on similar projects across the UK, it put forward an application to the charity’s board of trustees for a grant of £20,000 to help fund the apartment conversion project.

CRASH not only approved the grant, but donated many of the building materials needed for the project.

Gordon Moore, chief executive officer at Blyth Star Enterprises, said: “The rehabilitation services on offer at Blyth Star provide a pathway from hospital to independent living and help people living with lifelong disabilities to develop or regain the skills and confidence they need to live safely and autonomously within their local communities.

“Recent reports have identified that many people living with mental health problems across the UK are being detained unnecessarily in psychiatric hospitals due to the lack of community-led rehabilitation facilities available.

“As an organisation, we seek to effect genuine change in people living with challenging and complex mental health needs through our rehabilitative framework, which inevitably results in our service users progressing to independent living as quickly as possible.

“The new apartments will provide an increased resource to enable us to help more people in need and for that, we cannot thank CRASH enough for its dedication and support with this project.

“By utilising its contacts within the building industry, CRASH has saved us around £6,235 on the total building cost of the two new apartments by successfully sourcing materials such as plasterboards, flooring and even kitchens, free of charge.”

Established in 1991, CRASH works alongside construction companies and charities to help convert or create living spaces for people in need.

Claire English, its projects and resources manager, said: “Blyth Star Enterprises does some amazing work to support those living with severe and enduring mental ill health and learning disabilities across Northumberland and we hope that the addition of the new apartments will enable it to help more people in the future.”