A popular City of Wolverhampton Council-run centre for people with disabilities has been officially reopened after undergoing a major makeover.
The Brickkiln Centre, on Cherry Street, Graiseley, has been renovated and upgraded to enable it to welcome more service users and community groups.
The centre was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Phil Page and Cabinet Member for Adult Services Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE after being given a light, spacious, modern and welcoming feel.
It now boasts brighter decor, with colour coded and contrasting doors and handles and inclusive signage with braille designed to help people with a visual impairment get around more easily. The garden area has been improved, the domestic kitchen has new equipment and a Changing Place toilet, the third in Wolverhampton, has been installed for people who need support to attend to their personal care.
The venue offers a wide range of facilities, including a large sensory room, a community hall, IT facilities and an outdoor activity area. As well as adults and children with disabilities and the SupportPlus service for adults with a learning disability, the Brickkiln Centre is also used by local residents and associations, with a number of rooms available to hire including the sensory room, a small meeting area and a hall which can cater for up to 50.
The Brickkiln Centre is one of three City of Wolverhampton Council-run facilities for people with disabilities, all of which have recently been or are in the process of being renovated.
Action4Independence, on Albert Road near West Park, was transformed in 2016 and is now a bright, accessible venue offering art, horticultural, catering and Information Technology activities. It hosts a number of community groups, NHS teams and council services and is also home to Enable, a supported employment service for people with disabilities, and the Community Pathways team who help people who are disabled gain greater independence.
Meanwhile the Neil Dougherty Centre, on Pope Road, is currently undergoing modernisation work to bring its facilities up to the standards available at the Brickkiln Centre and Action4Independence and is due to reopen in the near future.
It will act as a base for the City Links service, which offers day opportunities to adults with a disability including football coaching in partnership with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at WV Active Aldersley and drama at the Arena Theatre. It also hosts sessions at the Bob Jones Community Hub in Blakenhall, WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams and The Way Youth Zone in Wolverhampton.
Approximately £180,000 has been invested across the three sites, with the improvements at Brickkiln costing around £55,000.
Councillor Samuels OBE said: "The support that is available for people with disabilities in Wolverhampton has been transformed for the better over the last few years.
"We've moved away from traditional, more institutionalised forms of support based in large day centres to more inclusive activities designed to help people learn new skills and increase their independence as much as possible.
"I'm delighted to have officially reopened the Brickkiln Centre and look forward to the improvement work being completed at the Neil Dougherty Centre which will give us three fantastic facilities for use by both people with disabilities and the local community at key locations across the City."