The Shaw Centre in Cheetham Hill provides day care for up to 111 adults with learning disabilities a week. The centre is built around an ethos of choice and is very much led by the people who use their service.
The charity was originally founded 30 years ago by the parents of adults with learning disabilities. Having gone from strength-to-strength the centre has now moved into a building that can better meet the needs of those who regularly attend.
The opening of the centre’s new home comes during Carers Week (11-17 June), which has seen the role unpaid carers play recognised and celebrated across Greater Manchester and the entire country.
By providing respite to carers The Shaw Centre plays an invaluable role in helping those who dedicate themselves to looking after others.
In Greater Manchester there are approximately 280,000 carers,who support family and friends and form a crucial part of the health and care system. January this year saw the launch of the Greater Manchester Carers Charter – that outlined a commitment from the Partnership to develop support and opportunities for carers across the region.
The support provided by The Shaw Centre also embodies the principles of the wider Greater Manchester Learning Disability Programme. The programme was designed with people with learning disabilities and aims to improve the lives of people in Greater Manchester with a learning disability and the choice and quality of services people can access. This includes expanding the housing options available to people, providing more support to enable people with a learning disability to gain paid employment and establishing new bespoke commissioning arrangements which deliver more choice and control to people in meeting their needs. A new Greater Manchester Learning Disability Strategy is in development and will spell out the long-term improvement plans for the city region.
The opening event saw the people who use The Shaw Centre and their families talk about why it is important to them and describe the support and care they have already received from the organisation. Festivities concluded with a breath-taking demonstration from Evade Martial Arts – who work with The Shaw Centre to provide activity sessions.
Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Jon Rouse, said:
“The Shaw Centre shows the difference that can be made when we listen to the people who actually use a service and are led by their needs. It was a privilege to welcome the centre to its new home and to hear the stories of so many people who’ve benefitted from their work.
“The Shaw Centre not only helps adults with learning disabilities but gives invaluable support to those who care for them. The role carers play is too often overlooked, which is why I am proud of our Carers Charter – which seeks to ensure these unsung heroes get the support they need.
“Across Greater Manchester unpaid carers dedicated themselves to helping friends and family with a variety of long term health conditions, everything from mobility issues to supporting those living with dementia. Many people do not even realise they are carers but the work they do is essential – and I’d encourage everyone caring for someone to find what support and help is available.”
Nicola Whitehead, Shaw Centre Manager, said:
“The whole team at The Shaw Centre are very proud of the work we do, the activities we provide and the relationships we have; both with the people who come to the centre as well as their parents and carers.
“It’s not just families that need a break from caring, the person being cared for needs a break from being in their home environment too. The Shaw Centre ticks both boxes – we offer the opportunity for people to spend time with their peers doing what they want to do at the same time as giving parents and carer’s peace of mind that the person they care for is safe and happy.”