Every parent and carer needs a place to call their own and now they can find it in Retford following the opening of APTCOO’s (A Place to Call Our Own) SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Family Hub and Specialist Sensory Therapy Suite.
Known locally as ‘Tall Trees’, the much-needed facility is called the ‘Faye Williams Sensory Suite’ and was opened by Sue Shaw, Retford Town Mayor, together with Mike Williams and APTCOO CEO Carol Burkitt in May.
APTCOO has worked in Bassetlaw for many years as a satellite service. They have worked together with their partners in health who have supported and encouraged their innovative and ambitious plans to meet the needs of Bassetlaw families and the gaps identified through creative commissioning.
Their services in Bassetlaw will now expand including a community café, enterprise, training and education for young adults, parents, carers and the local community.
The project started many years ago when Mike and Sue Williams, with the charity’s trustees, were looking for a suitable charity to benefit from the funds raised by local people for the Faye Williams Memorial Trust Fund.
At the opening celebration Mike shared the loss of their much-loved daughter Faye, whose life at the age of 19 tragically ended through a motor accident. Faye had already spent hundreds of voluntary hours in special needs schools through her love of children and her passion to help those who were disabled and disadvantaged.
Parents and carers have always steered the design and delivery of APTCOO from its early days and continue to do so into its third decade.
A very small project team, volunteers and local business partners have transformed Tall Trees into a place for families to flourish.
APTCOO CEO Carol Burkitt said: “The centre has a therapeutic spa feeling both inside and out with beautiful gardens and growing spaces and a centralised café for that all important coffee and catch up. We have opened the doors and now it is time for the centre to come to life: a place in the community that is fit for purpose for our parents and partners to work together under one roof to meet the needs, wants and choices of our families in Bassetlaw.
“We know there is a rising demand and limited resources to address the increase in family / teenage emotional wellbeing. We are working together with our local mental health teams and crisis support offering intensive family therapy at the right time, in the right place, with the right people.
“A single point of access helps enormously, that has ‘no wrong door’ and provides different types of support at different levels of engagement as families need it. This means that families can step into support when life becomes complex in any given areas and feel welcomed in a place they belong.”
If you would like to know more about APTCOO in Bassetlaw email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01623 629902.