New £4m facility for the Peak

GOING WITH A SWING: Councillor Barry Lewis, the county council's Cabinet Member for Young People, is pictured at the opening of Peak Lodge with Tideswell youngster Sebastian Parkhouse, nine. Photo contributed.
GOING WITH A SWING: Councillor Barry Lewis, the county council's Cabinet Member for Young People, is pictured at the opening of Peak Lodge with Tideswell youngster Sebastian Parkhouse, nine. Photo contributed.
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A new £4.4m home for disabled children and young people has been officially opened.

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) has built Peak Lodge on the site of Peak School in Chinley.

The building is made up of two separate homes – Hill View and The Willows – for 10 to 18-year-olds with autism and severe and complex disabilities.

Hill View is for pupils who go to Peak School, who will live there until they move on to adult life. The Willows offers short breaks for disabled children living across Derbyshire and their families.

DCC Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Barry Lewis said: “I’m delighted to be able to open these new homes which increase our ability to provide high-quality placements for disabled children and young people.

“It also means we can offer young people with complex needs and health issues even more choice of short breaks to improve their quality of life and help them plan for the future.

“Ofsted visited recently and approved the registration of the new homes and the managers. They were impressed by the building, staff and all the preparation for working with the young people.”

As well as six en-suite bedrooms, each home has a lounge, kitchen and dining room. Some of the young people have been involved in choosing the decoration, furniture and toys for the new homes.

Specialist staff will be able to use the purpose-built facilities to help young people learn vital life skills to help them be more independent.

Peak School Headteacher Linda Scowcroft said: “Although the nature of the relationship with the residential service will change, the school is committed to continuing the close working relationship that has proved so successful for the disabled young people we work with.

“I am glad that many of the residential staff will be transferring to the new units, taking their skills and experience with them.”

The land around the new single storey building has been landscaped and an outside enclosed play and leisure area created.

lThe Branching Out Garden Centre which provides work experience for adults with learning disabilities has been relocated to a more prominent position on the site.

They sell plants and handmade wooden products, such as bird feeders, to the public while learning work-based skills like horticulture, retailing and customer service.