Published Friday, 30 December 2016
A purpose-built facility to provide support across Clydesdale for people with life-limiting illness has been built in Forth.
Officers from across South Lanarkshire Council combined their areas of expertise to work with the Haven Caring Counselling Communication Centre and funding organisations to assist the new premises to become a reality.
The Haven offers free and confidential care, complementary therapies and information to people affected by life-limiting illness such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, as well as support to their carers and family members.
The charity operates from bases in Blantyre, Wishaw and, until now, from a flat in Forth that it leased from the council.
Over time, it had outgrown the Forth flat and needed premises suitable for its level of work, with the construction of a custom-designed facility the best approach if it was to offer the full range of services that the charity wished to provide.
Janice Williams, Chief Executive Officer at The Haven, said: “Development of the new Haven centre in Forth would not have been possible without the generous financial support of The Levenseat Trust, SLC Renewable Energies Fund and The Robertson Trust. However, it was not just financial assistance that made this possible: South Lanarkshire Council also provided advice and guidance at every stage of the project and this was invaluable.
“We are delighted that The Haven can now extend our services into Forth and rural areas across Clydesdale that face particular challenges in accessing local support.
“The new purpose-built centre will provide the warm, welcoming and non-clinical Haven environment that we know our clients need and a hub from which we can reach out to communities. Over time, the centre will also be developed as a resource for local communities.”
Councillor Catherine McClymont, chair of the Clydesdale Area Committee, lent her support to the project and worked with the council’s Estates officials as, along with Haven representatives, they identified a suitable, council-owned site in Forth and developed a business case for a reduction in the rental price on community-benefit grounds to £1 per annum.
Councillor McClymont said: “I am extremely happy and proud to see what has been achieved with this new facility. I was approached a couple of years ago to see if I could arrange new premises and I worked with SLC to secure the Haven a long lease over the piece of ground. The ball then started to roll when the funding was obtained via Levenseat Trust, of which I am a Trustee, and the Renewable Energy Trust.
“I cannot thank the funders enough and I know they are extremely proud of the new facility and the legacy this will be for the area. This was an idea from Jessie Griffin who co-founded the original Little Haven and I know she will be extremely happy with the outcome.”
Funding amounting to £169,083 was granted from the Renewable Energy Fund, which distributes Community Benefit Funds from windfarms and which is administered by the council, to add to £340,000 from the Levenseat Trust, which uses Landfill Tax Credits and donations from local landfill and recycling company Levenseat Ltd to support projects aimed at improving the environment for the benefit of local people.
William Haggarty, chairperson of the Levenseat Trust, said: “The Directors of the Trust were delighted to provide the major funding for the new Haven Project. The worthiness of this new purpose-built facility allowed the Directors to agree to make the largest funding award in the history of The Levenseat Trust in the sum of £340,000.
“The facility will provide much-needed services to all surrounding local communities and the directors are sure that the end users will appreciate their new surroundings. The new centre, built on a previously derelict site, also greatly enhances the appearance of the local area.”
Chris Walker, managing director of Muirhall Energy, said: “We are delighted that we could help towards the new building, knowing that it helps so many local people.
“We have been involved with supporting the Haven for a number of years now, and it is great to see the positive impacts that the money generated by wind farms can have in the community.”