Children at the Heart of Community Wellbeing

In an underprivileged area of Liverpool called Bootle, an extraordinary partnership that will promote positive health and wellbeing in the community is underway. Hugh Baird, a further education provider to over 5000 students, which runs an exceptional pastoral care system has partnered with Mersey Care, a pioneering Mental Health Trust to provide a range of life opportunities to students, their families, service users, carers and the wider community.

Together, they successfully applied for a £3.9million grant from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which will be used to transform the site of a former church into a training academy and a mental health drop in centre. The refurbished church will include a new mezzanine and café area, and will provide a base for levels 1-6 health and social care training in partnership with Mersey Care. The facility will house simulation wards for trainee paramedics.

Adjacent to the church a new ‘Life Rooms’ will be built on the footprint of the former presbytery, which will deliver courses that provide practical life skills and become a community hub. Mersey Care’s programme provides a range of life opportunities for service users, carers and the wider community; a mental health Recovery College, meeting spaces for community groups, space for arts and cultural activities, and an employment and enterprise hub. The facility will provide support, challenge stigma, and promote positive health and wellbeing.

Leading by example, these brave and determined partners are exploring the art of the possible. Hugh Baird College and our architects the IBI Group would welcome the opportunity to share this work more widely at your conference.