Innovation at the Longmead Hub
With the move to Longmead on the horizon, we ask Lisa Knapman, Area Operations Manager for the East, to give us a few details about what will be inside the new hub.
Longmead is a purpose built building based in the heart of Redhill and is Surrey Choices’ new and exciting community hub. There will be respite services, cooking groups, modern facilities for people with complex needs, an innovative sensory room and meeting room facilities.
The purpose built sensory room has been designed to support people to engage with their senses. This can be done through lighting, colour, sounds and sensory objects within a safe space. This enables people to explore and interact in a calming environment.
The new kitchen has been designed to be inclusive for all needs. The kitchen features work stations, hobs and ovens that are adjustable. The hobs move up and down via a switch on the wall to make them accessible. The oven doors open sidewards instead of downward so that it is not a barrier for people. This will allow everyone to have the same opportunities with maintaining and developing their cooking and baking skills.
In addition to three standard toilets and two accessible toilets for independent use, the Longmead Community Hub has a Changing Places facility. This has been designed with extra space and equipment, including a hoist and changing bed, so that it can be used by people who are not able to use the toilet independently. This room is so important for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities. They are able to stay away from home longer, knowing that they can visit a safe, hygienic bathroom.
This room is located with easy access to the kitchen area. This allows people who we support to prepare food for any cooking and baking sessions. The Flexi space is also a great room for people to meet their friends, stay connected and provide another area in the building to host activities.
Another room provides additional space for activities. For example arts and crafts and Speaking Up groups. The tables and chairs can be folded away and put to the sides of the room. This will allow more space for different activities such as yoga, pilates and other exercise sessions.
There is a new IT suite that can be used for hot desking, but its primary focus is to support people to get online safely. IT skills are so important as times move forward and they are a great way of staying connected to friends and family, up-to-date with news and trends, and to improve learning and skills.
By definition Innovation means to improve or replace something. This new community hub will support fresh ways of working and provides a safe and accessible hub for people to use and be connected to their community.
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