Bright Futures

Bright Futures

by Hanna Lindon

Chailey Heritage Foundation is breaking new ground to deliver care for people with complex disabilities. Hanna Lindon visited the vibrant new Futures Hub room to find out more.

There are exciting changes afoot at Chailey Heritage Foundation. Two of its key schemes are set for expansion, with a new room opening at the hugely successful Futures Hub and innovative community support scheme, Pathways, recruiting new staff to meet growing demand.

The foundation is most famous for its Ofsted Outstanding school and its children’s home for young people with complex needs – but through Pathways and Futures Hub it also assists disabled people in the community. Pathways provides specialist home and community support for people with disabilities, while Futures Hub offers day provision linked to the foundation’s Life Skills Centre.

Hub From Home

I meet three of Chailey Heritage Foundation’s passionate management team in the fun, brightly-coloured new Futures Hub room. Flooded with light and full of funky design touches, this latest addition to the charity’s day provision is an amazingly inspirational space.

“Futures Hub offers unique, modern and vibrant day care provision,” explains Jo Butterworth, Life Skills Manager. “It was originally started in 2014 for service users who have further to travel or may need a base during the day because of health requirements, and it’s been so popular that we’re about to open this new section.”

The Futures Hub is linked to the Life Skills Centre, where users can take part in a huge range of activities. There’s a gym, spa and a newly-opened farm sensory experience on-site – plus a completely optional activity timetable that includes everything from pamper mornings and film afternoons to drama, yoga and music therapy.

“Each person’s day is going to be very different,” says Community Operations Manager Neil James. “They might focus on sensory activities, go to the gym or take part in a sing-song.”

Pathway To

This highly personalised approach extends to Pathways, the community support service launched by Chailey Heritage Foundation last year. “Our community support workers visit people’s homes to support them with anything from getting up in the morning to making meals,” explains Pathways Manager Bernie Tobin. “We can access the local community and take people out to appointments and social activities – we’re different to a domiciliary care service because we give a lot of time to our clients. It takes a long time to establish trust and we offer consistency of care that allows families to build a positive rapport with support workers.”

It may only be a few months old, but Pathways is already rapidly expanding. The scheme has launched a fully bespoke training programme and is searching for enthusiastic, passionate and caring new recruits. With personal qualities more important than experience, it’s an opportunity to get involved in a project that really is changing lives.


Address: Haywards Heath Road, North Chailey, Lewes, West Sussex BN8 4EF

Telephone: 01825 724444



Futures Hub:  Telephone: 01825 723723