Watford Mencap moves into former home of Nascot Lawn Respite Centre

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Watford Mencap's new home in Langley Road, WatfordImage source, Watford Mencap
Image caption,
Watford Mencap has moved into Nascot Lawn Respite Services' former home in Langley Road in the town

A charity which supports those with learning disabilities has moved into the building which housed a respite centre that closed when its funding was withdrawn.

Watford Mencap has moved into Nascot Lawn Respite Services' former home in Langley Road in the Hertfordshire town.

Nascot Lawn closed in 2018 after Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it would stop funding.

Mencap said the "wonderful" building would be "a hive of activity".

Chairman, Roger Jones, said: "The new facility in the heart of the Watford community provides a permanent home from which our caring and experienced teams will be able to support people to live the lives they want for themselves."

Image source, Watford Mencap
Image caption,
Nascot Lawn Respite Centre closed in 2018 after Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it would stop funding

Nascot Lawn provided short breaks for children aged 5-19 with complex health needs and learning disabilities.

In January 2017, the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it would stop funding in October 2017 due to "financial challenges".

After a parents' campaign, the High Court ruled the CCG must consult with the council over the proposed closure - the two authorities later agreed they would jointly fund respite elsewhere.

Watford Borough Council subsequently negotiated the purchase of the building from Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) and agreed with Watford Mencap to pass the property directly to them in a not-for-profit transaction. Watford Mencap then took ownership of the property with the support of a mortgage.

Over the past year, the building has undergone refurbishment to create a hub that will provide daily support for Mencap's service users and a specialist activity space which other community groups, local charities and families can use.

Image source, Watford Mencap
Image caption,
The new hub will provide daily support for Mencap's service users

At the hub's official opening, Watford's Liberal Democrat elected mayor of Watford Peter Taylor, said the charity was a "real beacon for hope and demonstrate what makes Watford such a special place".

"The new home marks the start of an exciting future for the charity, providing scope for more facilities and services and offering a hub for similar activities run by other groups and organisations including Playskill who are also based at the site," he said.

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