A charity which provides a much-needed accessible holiday centre in Southport has revealed plans to expand its facilities, offering something which is “increasingly needed with the pressures of the NHS”.
Revitalise has submitted a planning application to Sefton Council to increase the provision of its Sandpipers Centre from 37 bedrooms to 50 bedrooms.
The facility, on Fairway, provides guests with beautiful views across Marine Lake while being situated close by to Southport town centre, and amenities such as Southport Pleasureland, Southport Beach and Southport Pier.
It enables disabled people in the UK to access essential breaks with care, and provides inspirational opportunities for volunteers.
It is part of a growing trend for huge new investment around the Marine Lake with Sefton Council and Southport Town Deal due to invest £75million in a new Marine Lake Events Centre plus a water and light show; the £75million Southport Cove due to open on Princes Park; new leisure, hospitality and retail on The Waterfront site next to Bliss Hotel; and exciting plans at Southport Pleasureland which include a new roller coaster, an 18-hole Viking adventure golf and a recently opened Southport Big Wheel.
The proposals have been drawn up by Southport architects Clayton Architecture, which submitted the proposals to the council.
They said: “The proposal will assist in contributing to the local area economically, socially and environmentally.
“The investment in the building would see a vast improvement in the current facilities and what services they are able to offer in the future.
“The charity has worked hard to offer something which is often overlooked yet is something that is increasingly needed with the pressures of the NHS.”
The plans will include an extension to the existing building to provide additional rooms (increase the capacity to 50 rooms), new windows, timber cladding to be installed on the existing building, a canopy on the main entrance, alterations to the existing parking arrangements, landscaping and associated drainage works, following the demolition of the existing pedestrian bridge.
Revitalise also operates the Jubilee Lodge in Chigwell in Essex and the Waterside House in Netley in Southampton.
Revitalise was founded in 1963 as the Winged Fellowship Trust (WFT). In 2004 WFT became Vitalise and in 2014 Vitalise became Revitalise.
Revitalise said: “We firmly believe that disabled people should have the same rights, freedoms, responsibilities and quality of life as those without disabilities.
“We are the only charity in the UK that offers accessible breaks for disabled people in a proper holiday environment, combined with the reassurance of expert care support.
“Each of our centres has a team of registered nurses, care assistants and volunteers, giving carers a break too.
“Unpaid family carers can hand over the caring responsibility to us and choose to accompany their loved one to Revitalise or enjoy a break of their own elsewhere, safe in the knowledge that their loved one is being well cared for.
“Throughout the pandemic, the amount of pressure and hardship for disabled people and their families has increased hugely. There were 9.1m family carers in the UK at the start of lockdown, and it is estimated that a further 4.5 million have taken on caring responsibilities since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are solely responsible for the wellbeing of a loved one who may rely on them completely, sometimes 24/7, without any form of break.
“During lockdown, we have received calls from carers in desperate situations, some talking of self-harm and an inability to cope.
“Revitalise is a charity that has been operating since 1963. For our 60th birthday celebrations, our Board of Trustees have put the stake in the ground for us to embark on an ambitious and exciting redevelopment plan.
“The goal being to create centres of excellence in accessible design and care support for people with disabilities including innovative technological development.
“This includes the redevelopment of Sandpipers, Southport. It is a site of the most incredible potential, and so our plans include increasing the current capacity to 50, maximising the beautiful location and adding incredible accessible facilities for disabled people to enjoy a truly restorative break.”
Due to the impact of coronavirus, the charity has suffered due to restrictions and is looking to reinvest in its current facilities to ensure there are appropriate respite facilities for both those with disabilities and also carers. The facility can currently offer up to 38 service users, this is looking to be increased to 50 with the retention of the overnight accommodation for staff and volunteers.
The appearance of the existing building is a mixture between traditional and modern, with features such as brick, render and even a zinc roof. The overall concept of the extension in particular was not to replicate the existing building but propose something which compliments it and uses a succinct material palette to unify the whole development.
- For more details about how you can support the Revitalise Sandpipers Centre in Southport please visit: revitalise.org.uk