Independent Living Centre
The Independent Living Centre brings an enormous range of facilities for people with disabilities under one roof and is the base for staff including specialist nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, social workers and professionals involved in falls prevention and intermediate care. See press release of official opening in July 2007.
Among the organisations who have been working together to create the Centre are the former Colchester and Tendring Primary Care Trusts (now merged to form NHS North East Essex), Essex County Council, Essex Equipment Service and the Colchester Catalyst Charity.
The main aim of the centre and its staff is to promote independent living for adults and children with physical and/or sensory impairments, enabling choice, control and easy access to a range of services. We also provide information to carers and professionals and anyone concerned with disability.
Services within the Centre
Occupational Therapy at the Centre
An Occupational Therapist is available to provide advice on alternative techniques, change of environment, assistive equipment or adaptations. The OT will offer advice and information on local and national suppliers if you wish to purchase privately and also assist applications for charitable or statutory funding.
The occupational therapy practitioner is based at the centre 2 days a week and visits are via appointment only contactable on 01206 518888 should the public wish to visit the adapted bungalow for advice and information.
In the demonstration bungalow, people are able to view and try out examples of equipment/adaptations. The Centre has an Exhibition and Demo of Telecare Equipment (considered by manufacturers and suppliers to be one of the top five in the UK).
The type of equipment that is evaluated includes:
The centre is a one-stop venue where anyone can pop in to pick up information about a wide range of disability issues, including advocacy, benefits, carers, employment, legislation etc.
The original plan was to call the facility a 'disability resource centre' but it was the lay people who chair our steering group who renamed it an 'independent living centre' because they felt it was a more positive reflection of its function.
Colchester Catalyst, which makes grants to charities and already provides people in North East Essex with a range of equipment, has contributed £135,000 to the cost of converting the Colchester Business Park building into an ILC.
Colchester Catalyst Charity have staff at the centre and loan specialist equipment such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
The building is only a few years old, is spacious and already has many disability-friendly features, such as assisted toilet facilities and good access for wheelchair-users. It also has a generous amount of parking, access to Tendring via the A120 as well as the A12 and staff training facilities.
The ILC jointly occupies the building with the Essex Equipment Service, which is part of Essex County Council and manages the loan of a range of equipment, including aids for daily living.
Feasibility work has already been prepared with a view to integrated occupational therapy teams across health and social care being piloted and based in the centre.
Parking bays are available for visitors with disabilities. These are located immediately outside the main entrance.
Tel: 01206 518888 Fax: 01206 518830 Textphone: 01206 518808
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 9.30am-4pm; Friday: 9.30am-3.30pm; Saturday & Sunday: closed.
Independent Living Centre leaflet (Adobe Acrobat - 851 Kb)
Need more information?
For further information please contact the service manager for equipment services and the ILC at email@example.com or telephone her on 01206 742758 or mobile 07775 857309