Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The Friends of Benenden Grange (FOBG) are a charity, set up by family members of people supported in a group of 3 homes where up to 25 people with Learning Disabilities live enriched, fulfilled and happy lives in Cranbrook, Kent.

A request from people supported was that an old disused tennis court within the grounds be upgraded to provide an all season space where people could maintain their fitness and improve the side effects of conditions. This was something that the Friends explored. There is evidence that people with learning disabilities have a greater propensity to develop health problems - both physical and mental health as compared to the rest of the population. We are keen to provide equipment and sessions which will enhance the health of people and support the proactive management of conditions. The overall plan will be to develop the entire tennis court to be a fully functioning wellness area accessible to all the supported individuals within the group at all times of the year.

As we are located in such a rural area with infrequent public transport links, a longer term aim of the project is to work with the local community to offer use of the multi use area. The equipment could also be made available to other local community groups and care homes supporting older people to maintain their fitness and mobility.

Increasing community links will support breaking down barriers of the public’s perception of individuals with disabilities. Whilst also enabling the people supported to be more engaged in their community which in turn can lead to greater independence.

By working with the direct village as well as neighbouring communities this could increase beneficiaries of the area from 25 individuals to easily in excess of 200.

At present FOBG fund Yoga, Zumba and Keep Fit teachers, these classes normally take place in the lounge area of The Grange which then means the space is not accessible to those who do not wish to take part. The final stage of the project will allow for the wellness suite to be used for these classes ensuring maximum opportunities with minimum disruption.

Due to the size of the existing tennis courts the surfacing alone would be approximately £60,000, therefore consideration has been given to break this down in two stages. The completion of stage one which is the project put forward to the Community Fund will provide individuals with essential equipment to improve their wellbeing and extend their useable space.

Increased fitness levels for the individuals supported
A dedicated area for fitness and wellness that can be delivered daily
Improved mental wellbeing
Improved management of effects of conditions
Greater partnerships with the local community
Raised profile and understanding of people with learning disabilities leading to better social inclusion
Improved working conditions for staff with access to wellness facilities
Enhanced service delivery for future referrals
Better use of environment and access to individuals home
Placements offered to students studying towards qualifications in health, fitness and physiotherapy

Costs and Budgets
We are aware that the total cost of the first stage of the project falls outside of the maximum funding level. We request £25,000 funding to pay for the equipment and surfacing. FOBG will fund the VAT and installation costs from funds remaining from a charity golf day. To complete the whole project the charity will continue working to host events to raise further funds.

Stage One
Price of Equipment
£15,627.00 + VAT

Surfacing 105m2 area
£9,514.00 + VAT

Price of Installation: including light maintenance pack, post installation safety inspection and one year’s maintenance
£7,049.00 + VAT

Total Price £32,190.00 + VAT

If we were to secure the funds, the works could commence as soon as possible guided by the lead time of the equipment which is approximately 5 weeks.

Project Video

Friends of Benenden Grange

Moment of Pride

I am proud to be working with the friends of the Grange, I recently spent a day volunteering by taking the residents out for the day. Such a small task that we take for granted everyday makes such a big difference to the lives of these individuals. By doing so little we can help change so much.

Location: Benenden