New vocational centre open in Birmingham

Patients at our Birmingham site are now able to gain new skills and build their confidence, thanks to a new vocational centre.

The centre will be used exclusively by patients from St Andrew’s Healthcare, and replicates Workbridge in Northampton, offering the people in our care the chance to learn and develop work and life skills through a broad range of vocational activities.

The Workbridge building has been constructed as a timber and cladded framed pod, located in the central courtyard of the site. The interior has been fully equipped with everything needed for creative activities such as woodwork, textiles, card making, design and print.

Small groups of patients will be able to learn in a supportive environment, with both morning and afternoon sessions held throughout the week.

Rebecca Chapman, Service Manager at Workbridge, explained: “We are so excited to open Workbridge in Birmingham, and I know that our patients will enjoy the opportunity to learn new skills and achieve their goals. It’s a great facility, and we’re very proud of all the input our patients have had in the design and planning stages.”

Katie Fisher, new Chief Executive of St Andrew’s Healthcare, attended the launch. She explained: “Today is the first time I’ve been able to see, first-hand, the great facilities we have at St Andrew’s in Birmingham. This project has really come alive thanks to the hard work and energy of our staff and patients, and I thank everyone involved for their commitment.”

The people in our care in Birmingham were excited for Workbridge’s opening. “Workbridge has given me lots of horizons for doing things” said one, and another: “Workbridge is your imagination.”

And they have enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in the project’s planning; some were involved in the official naming of the unit, while others helped to create signage and interior artwork.

Our grounds and horticulture teams have also worked with our patients to complete some of the soft landscaping around the pod, planting shrubs and trees to make it feel inviting.