Disability hub dream is a step closer

A community enterprise company’s ambition to create a new disability hub in Berwick has taken an important step forward.

Using a £50,000 Covid loan, Border Links has purchased new premises at the Ramparts Business Park site.

Its aim is that the hub will enable the company to secure its long-term future so it can continue to provide high-quality training, social enterprise opportunities and day care for many years to come.

However, it now needs to raise £100,000 to transform the currently empty premises. It will be applying for grants and members will be involved with developing ideas for and taking part in fundraising activities.

A group of members recently went over the plans for the disability hub with the architect.

Border Links provides training for adults with learning disabilities. In 2006, it started out with one day each week in Cornhill Village Hall.

Over the last 16 years, it has expanded and now runs 18 sessions every week over six venues in Amble, Berwick, Cornhill, Duns and Kelso.

Melanie Deans, one of the directors, said: “Now that we’ve purchased the new premises, we’re hugely excited as we can start to plan for how the disability hub will look and what will be included.

“A group of members and staff have had a look around and an architect has come on board. He has recently spoken with some of our members as it is very important that they have an input.

A group of members and staff have had a look around the new premises.

“It will be great to provide somewhere in the north of the county where people can come together for both formal and informal activities. This will include working with employers to help create more job opportunities for adults with additional needs.

“Alongside our day-to-day activities, over the coming months we will continue with the planning and discuss fundraising ideas – as well as apply for grants.”

After consultation with staff, members and their families, the wishlist for the new premises includes larger and improved teaching and training spaces, comfortable seating and areas to relax, meeting rooms to facilitate community engagement/learning/training and respond to requests for specialised autism support, an accessible commercial kitchen to allow for more enterprise development and facilitate independent living skills, and carbon neutral status to help the environment and with long-term bills.

For more information about the company, go to www.borderlinks.co.uk