(UK) Wolverhampton: Council considers group home for disabled children

Nov 14, 2022, Birmingham Mail: Children's home plan for Wolverhampton lodge which has been empty for years

W. Midlands

Plans to convert a lodge in the grounds of a historic Wolverhampton building into a children's care home have been submitted to the city council. The premises, formerly the gatehouse to Beckminster House on Birches Barn Road, Penn Fields, has been vacant for a number of years and was previously used as a teacher training facility and office space….

In a letter to the city council, Manpreet Pangli of GSP Developments Limited said: "The proposal is to add a two-storey extension to the building and reopen it as a residential care home for up to four children with learning disabilities, aged 8-17, living together as a single household. The property is detached and has a large garden area which will be a place for children and young adults to plant flowers and participate in activities. We have already engaged with neighbours who are supportive of the service we are looking to offer….

"Staff will not reside at the property but will work there on a 24-hour shift basis. The service will be registered and licensed by Ofsted and the home will be run by a manager who will also be Ofsted-registered. The wider staff team will be made up of senior and residential support workers," added the letter….

Cathryn Greenway, commissioning manager for Bright Life Living, which already runs a series of children's homes in the West Midlands, said: "There are currently approximately 160 young people placed in residential care by Birmingham Children’s Trust (BCT) across Birmingham, the West Midlands and nationally. In 2020, approximately two thirds of new placements made by BCT were outside of Birmingham. It is the intention of the trust to prioritise placing children in Ofsted-registered provisions within the West Midlands, where it is in their best interests in order to maintain education, family contact and professional support networks….

The lodge building at Beckminster House.