PACE celebrates opening of new Centre on Wendover Road

Having laid the inaugural brick almost one year ago 7-year old Sonny Pikett from Aston Clinton led the celebrations at the opening of PACE’s new Early Year’s Centre last Thursday 20th March. The new facility at 156 Wendover Road, Aylesbury will transform the lives of many children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, and is the first phase of a continuing development on the edge of Aylesbury, near Stoke Mandeville.

Sonny was joined by Amanda Richardson PACE CEO First Steps Appeal committee chair and PACE Patron Milly Soames DL, and Sonny’s parents Adrian and Louise. The ongoing “First Steps Appeal” has successfully raised the £1.2 million set for phase one and fundraising continues, with £2.4 million raised to date. The completion of the whole project at the Early Years Centre is expected by 2015 with an eventual target of £4.5 million.

The site, a former car dealership, was empty for five years before PACE moved in at the end of 2012. The Early Years Centre will be a beacon of hope for children affected by physical disabilities from Buckinghamshire and across the wider region. It will provide educational and clinical services to children aged from 0 to 7 years of age and will complement the existing PACE primary school services at Coventon Road, Aylesbury and secondary services within Heritage House School in Chesham.

In recognition and appreciation of the leading grant made by the Garfield Weston Foundation towards the building, it has been named the Weston Centre. The site is also being named the Bradbury Campus in acknowledgement of a further significant grant made by the Bradbury Foundation. The generous support of many other individual donors, companies and foundations is recognised within the building and commemorated on a specially commissioned donor board made by local craftsman Ben Clayton.

The new centre provides PACE with an opportunity to create another centre of excellence for young children with sensory motor disorders and their families. It will allow PACE to consolidate its existing Early Years services onto a single site and provide expansion space in response to the continuing growth in demand for its services. It will also provide training facilities to allow PACE staff to develop and extend their skills and disseminate the now widely-respected PACE approach to similar organisations around the country.

Chief Executive Amanda Richardson said “This is a wonderful day to celebrate the contributions of many staff, friends, colleagues and very generous donors to the project, and to reflect how far we have come in such a short time.” She added “PACE thanks everybody involved in making today possible and we look forward to more exciting progress as we work towards the completion of the remainder of the project in 2015.”

“Early intervention is critical in achieving the best possible outcomes for young children with disabilities. Our new centre will mean that more children will be able to have the early input they need to help them achieve their full potential in life”.