The Slater Centre
Greenham Common Trust donated £2 million to build a 18,000 sq ft facility at Greenham Business Park designed to enable the recycling of goods and to provide training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
The Slater Centre was named after Patrick Slater MBE, Chairman of West Berkshire Mencap and member of the Trust's Distribution Committee, in recognition of his long and outstanding service to the voluntary sector.
Several successful organisations working with the socially excluded, many of whom with physical or learning disabilities, came together to increase real working opportunities and to provide the necessary training and support for this disadvantaged group. All these organisations were close to capacity and had waiting lists for their services.
These organisations were:
- The Link Up Project - a joint work experience and training project with 50 clients, run by West Berkshire Mencap, Newbury College and West Berkshire Council
- The Community Furniture Project - recycling furniture for the disadvantaged and training of the client group
- Empower IT - training for 44 clients per week, run by Newbury College
- Connexions - a government youth scheme finding routes to employment for younger clients
- Alzheimer's Disease Society West Berkshire - support and advice on living with all forms of dementia
- HomeStart West Berkshire - supporting families in local communities
- Royal Society Mencap Housing Support Group - supporting living schemes for people with mental health issues
- Berkshire Federation Of Young Farmers Clubs - a local charity providing opportunities for young people to have fun, improve their personal skills and gain a sense of achievement
- BACYP - Berkshire Association of Clubs for Young People - Millennium Volunteers - supporting young volunteers to achieve, through their leisure time activities, MV Award for 200 hours of voluntary service
- Newbury Motor Project - work related training for 14 - 16 year olds who are at risk of or have been excluded from main-stream education
Housing all these projects under one roof will allow:
- Greater recycling of furniture and 'white' and 'brown' goods to those that need it
- A step change increase in capacity. The current 82 employment opportunities and approx 1,500 training opportunities per annum will increase to 170 and approx 3,000 respectively
- Greater opportunities for the client base, realised by combining the efforts of the partners
- An exemplar project promoting joint working and the efficient use of shared resources between the partner charities
- Users will have many of their needs dealt with under one roof
- Purpose built training facilities for Disability & Discrimination Awareness, clients' basic skills, IT training, kitchen/catering training for users
- Client employment opportunities with Link Up and the Community Furniture Project and in the running of the building
As well as contributing £2 million towards the capital cost of the building, Greenham Common Trust grant aided the charities involved the annual rental of the building, thereby providing significant revenue funding on an ongoing basis. The Slater Centre was officially opened by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex on 21st March 2006.
In 2013 the projects outgrew their home on the business park and relocated, to various other Trust properties, including DEF Hambridge Lane, now renamed The Slater Centre. The original building on the business park has become a flagship Innovation bulding for national food manufacturer, English Provender Company.