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International equestrian champion to open new initiative for adults with learning disabilities.

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Former silver medalist Ricky Balshaw will be teaming up with Bromford Support, a leading specialist support provider in Warwickshire, to launch an innovative new project in Atherstone,providing training, activities and advice for adults with learning disabilities.

'The Hub', in the former Liberal Club on Long Street, is set to throw an official launch party on Wednesday 7th November, marking the opening of a unique environment for adults with learning disabilities to explore courses such as jobs skills, beauty and computing. The hub will also provide drop-in style face-to-face support for local people and offer community groups a great place to host their own activities.

The initiative will see a partnership between Bromford Support and Warwickshire County Council to manage Hubs across the county, including Hubs in Leamington, Stratford and Studley. The Hubs will also provide an exciting replacement to the county's previous day centre model.

The new 'Hubs' will mean customers will have more tailored support, choosing their own activities and achieving qualifications rather than simply attending a day centre and taking part in set activities. The Hubs will also provide a community focal point providing neighborhood groups, agencies and public services, such as the neighborhood police team, access to the local people who need their support and advice the most. Local PCSOs will even run personal safety awareness courses for those who feel at risk.

The Atherstone Hub will celebrate it's grand opening with a ribbon cutting by Paralympian Ricky Balshaw, who took the silver medal in Beijing 2008 and remains a world champion in para-dressage. Ricky will be joined by a host of other VIP guests, councilors, local community groups and customers. Disability dance group 'Tiger Feet' will also be showing their art with demonstrations of 'inclusive dancing'. The day will also include other taster sessions from partners such as Adult and Community Partnership, New Ideas and Ann Reed Aromatherapy & Beauty.

Hen Reynolds, Hub Manager for Bromford Support, believes the Hub will become firmly placed at the heart of the community."Atherstone town centre is already thriving with a so much for the community, and now the Hub will add to that buzz of activity by providing a supportive resource for local individuals who are often overlooked.

"The Hub is a very innovative project, a new direction for adult support which puts increased emphasis on giving people the opportunity to live independently."

Hen believes the Hub's main objective is to 'change people's lives' by providing fun and engaging activities. She added, "The open day will be a fantastic way to mark the beginning of the journey, and hopefully a long working relationship with Warwickshire County Council."

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care at Warwickshire County Council, said: "We want to build upon the legacy of the Paralympics so people with disabilities are able to develop and achieve in all areas of their lives. The hubs are an important part of providing a wider range of opportunities and ensuring that whatever the range of abilities the customer has, their needs will be catered for."  

The Hub is now open for customers and can be used between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, with Hub Advisors on site to lend a hand during those times. To find our more information on course available to run your own session at the Hub, phone Atherstone Hub Advisor Maxine Bennett on 07436034502 or visit www.bromford.co.uk.

Photo call

All press and invited to attend the event and their will be a number of photo/ interview opportunities, plus plenty going on should you wish to film the event. If you wish to attend, contact Communications Specialist Jarrod Williams on 01902396824, email jarrod.williams@bromford.co.uk or tweet @jarrodwilliams

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