Almost 62 years ago to the day, the Central Cross Drive site opened as a day centre, in the form of a garage at a rent of 1 shilling per week. The aim of the service then, in 1954 was to deliver activities and speech therapy to people with disabilities and for that period in time such a service was rare and very difficult to come by. With a determined committee driving the project alongside the strong support of the Cheltenham Round Table, the humble building was revamped and equipped to carry out an array of activities and St Vincent’s was founded!
(ABOVE) Cheltenham Round Table preparing the building for its new use as an activity centre
Since then, the site has been through many changes both structurally and delivery, but over the next 60 years the the St Vincent’s Centre would always hold the aim to support and improve the lives of people with disabilities. In 2011 it was decided that the activity centre would move to a larger facility based half a mile away on Winchcombe Street, now known as the Phoenix. In place of the old centre at Central Cross Drive were big plans of innovation for the charity.
We are now pleased to announce that from the 28th September, with thanks to HRH Duchess of Gloucester, Vincent Court is now open. The new build contains three self-contained apartments, purpose built to provide independent living opportunities to young people with complex, physical disabilities. Also within the building is a forth self-contained unit that will provide short-breaks to children with behaviours that challenge a much needed service for the area provided in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council.
Vincent Court marks a brand new provision of services on a very special site for the charity, and we plan to keep on fulfilling our aims for many more years to come.