Barnwood Trust develops Overton House in Cheltenham

Barnwood Trust develops Overton House in Cheltenham as a new base for its work to build a sense of belonging across the county

Making sure everyone feels they belong is at the heart of what Barnwood Trust does. The Trust’s new premises at Overton House in Cheltenham will include an accessible and welcoming space to bring people together, as well as offices for the staff team – set to open doors in early 2019.

Barnwood Trust

Barnwood Trust is a charitable foundation dedicated to creating the best possible environment in Gloucestershire for disabled people, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems to make the most of their lives. The Trust has come a long way since it was established over 200 years ago. Today, it helps thousands of people every year through four areas of work: Discovering Opportunities, Shaping Homes, Growing Communities and Sharing Insights. This means the Trust encourages people to learn a new skill or re-discover a hobby; influences housing provision; gives small grants to help people with day-to-day living or to encourage community groups to come together; and shares knowledge and ideas.

Building belonging in Gloucestershire

Barnwood Trust is financially independent so doesn’t rely on fundraising. But what really sets Barnwood apart is a focus on building belonging across the county – recognising the contribution everyone makes to Gloucestershire. Speaking for the Trust, Chief Executive Sally Byng said: “We want everyone to have something to do that they enjoy, everyone to have the confidence to join in, because they know they’ll be welcome, and that ‘everyone’ includes people living with disabilities and mental health problems.”

New base for the Trust 

Barnwood Trust’s team of around 50 staff and 100 volunteers will move to its permanent new base at Overton House in February 2019. The team currently operates from two main offices, one in Ullenwood and another in Gloucester’s Barnwood area, where the Trust will continue its long-standing link. The three million pound renovation project includes levelling all the floors in the building and installing a new lift system. The Trust’s newly adapted base in Cheltenham will be in a central location with good public transport links, as well as offering wheelchair accessible spaces that will be attractive, flexible and which will enable people to come together easily.

A welcoming space

Barnwood Trust is all about making connections with people and ensuring everybody feels welcome in and around Gloucestershire, as well as making room for creativity and innovation. So, it will be important that their premises reflect these values, with a lively hub for get-togethers and good conversations – a third of Overton House being dedicated space for this.

Lawrence Miller who is overseeing the development project for the Trust, said: Our vision for Overton House is to create a relaxed base for the team and a comfortable setting for our guests too. The first two floors will be a welcoming space for anyone to drop in for a chat, to find information or inspiration, attend a workshop, meet with the Barnwood team or book the space for their own get-togethers. We want people to feel at home with us at Overton House.”

 Join in

To find out more about the building works, or to register your interest to make use of the community rooms from 2019 onwards, visit www.barnwoodtrust.org, email info@barnwoodtrust.org or call 01452 614429.

View the full article on Gloucestershire Live here