A popular centre for people with disabilities has been officially opened after undergoing a £60,000 makeover.

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The City of Wolverhampton Council's Neil Dougherty Centre, on Masefield Road, has been renovated and upgraded to enable it to welcome more people and community groups.

The centre - which was officially opened by Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, has been given a light, spacious, modern and welcoming feel.

It now boasts brighter decor with colour coded rooms, braille signage and contrasting doors and handles to help people with a visual impairment get around more easily. A Changing Place toilet has been fitted, the fourth in Wolverhampton, for people who need support to attend to their personal care.

The venue offers a wide range of facilities, including a community hall, Information Technology facilities, a training kitchen, training suite and a fully accessible lift.

As well as being used by the City of Wolverhampton Council's CityLinks service for adults with disabilities, the Neil Dougherty Centre is available for community use with a number of rooms available to hire, including the training suite catering for around 20 people and the hall which can hold up to 70.

The Neil Dougherty Centre is one of three City of Wolverhampton Council run facilities for people with disabilities, all of which have recently been renovated.

Action4Independence, on Albert Road near West Park, was transformed in 2016 and is now a bright, accessible venue offering art, horticultural, catering and Information Technology activities via the SupportPlus service for adults with a disability.

The venue hosts a number of community groups and council services and is also home to Enable, a supported employment service for people with disabilities, and the Community Pathways team who help people who are disabled gain greater independence.

Meanwhile the Brickkiln Centre, on Cherry Street, re-opened last December following a makeover of its own, and is now well used by the SupportPlus service, children and young people with disabilities, local residents and voluntary groups.

The Neil Dougherty Centre will act as a base for the CityLinks service, which offers day opportunities to adults with a disability, including football coaching in partnership with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at WV Active Aldersley and drama in partnership with the Arena Theatre. CityLinks also host sessions at the Bob Jones Community Hub in Blakenhall and WV Active Bilston-Bert Williams.

Councillor Samuels OBE said: "The support that is available for people with disabilities in Wolverhampton has been transformed for the better over the last few years.

"We've moved away from traditional, more institutionalised forms of support based in large day centres to more inclusive activities designed to help people learn new skills and increase their independence as much as possible.

"I'm delighted that the renovation of the Neil Dougherty Centre has given us three fantastic facilities for use by both people with disabilities and the local community at key locations across the City."

  • released: Friday 29 June, 2018