People with learning disabilities at a Kent-based supported living service are enjoying their newly-extended home – after helping to raise £15,000 towards the cost (20th February 2012). 

Residents at Rosemary Cottage at the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch, near Ashford, as well as family and friends, organised and took part in a variety of sponsored events to raise the money.The money raised was used to extend Rosemary Cottage after it was found that the L-shaped living room proved to be limiting for the 6 residents, 5 of whom use wheelchairs.

Rosemary Cottage and the Rare Breeds Centre are owned and operated by the Canterbury Oast Trust, which provides care and opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. 

Gill Gibb, chief executive of Canterbury Oast Trust, said: “The new space allows for more group activities, such as chi ball exercises and music therapy, and more room for meeting visitors, as well as direct access to the garden. The funding was the result of a wonderful mix of obtaining a grant from a charitable trust and some fantastic fund-raising from supporters and the residents themselves.“

Ken and Debbie Chappell of West Wickham raised money through their popular Problematic Pop Quiz nights, another parent staged a music concert at their house and a member of staff bravely bungee jumped. One of our residents, Daniel Gilbert, who is registered blind, completed an amazing 100ft zip wire and raised £500. Staff and residents also sold cakes, held raffles and stepped out on a sponsored walk. Everybody worked really well together to raise the £30,000 necessary to extend Rosemary Cottage.” 

 The residents have since held an open day to celebrate Rosemary Cottage’s new-look. “

The residents invited friends, family and those else who helped fund the work to say thank you,” Gibb said. “We are proud of our residents for their hard work and patience and grateful to everyone who contributed to the Rosemary Cottage extension.”