News - Holton Lee

Construction starts on new spinal injury unit in East Holton

The Poole construction team has begun work on a refurbishment to create a spinal support centre at Livability Holton Lee in East Holton, Dorset.

Located at the heart of a 350-acre nature reserve near Poole, Livability Holton Lee is a wellbeing discovery centre providing opportunities for people of all abilities to develop physical, spiritual and mental well-being. The centre has a specialism in disability care and mental health. 

Stepnell is refurbishing two linked, one- and two-storey buildings named The Old and New Barn on the Holton Lee site. The former self-catered accommodation for large groups will be upgraded to a short-stay residential space that will provide specialist support to people recovering from spinal injuries.

The construction will include the widening of ground floor doors for easy wheelchair access and the infill of two ground floor external areas to create additional internal rooms. All roof lights on the first floor will be replaced with longer windows to allow wheelchair users to also appreciate the views.

The external windows and doors will be replaced and the front entrance will be equipped with new sliding doors. The waste bins will also be relocated to a discrete walled enclosure.

The centre provides a ‘step-down care’ service which helps clients prepare for the transition from hospital to home by providing a domestic-style atmosphere that allows them to explore the limits and possibilities of their situation in a safe environment. Up to 13 people at a time will be able to stay in the new spinal centre where they will be able to take advantage of the new domestically-designed facilities including an ‘independence kitchen’ and an indoor physiotherapy space. 

“Unique centres such as Livability Holton Lee that provide purpose-built facilities are unfortunately few and far between,” says Robert Speirs, regional director for Stepnell. “When completed at the end of this year, the new spinal unit will enable more people to benefit from the centre’s excellent respite facilities and specialist ‘step-down care’. We are proud to be able to work on such an important project for the care community.”

“Livability is a charity that is committed to helping the people we support overcome barriers in their lives, so they can continue to live full and independent lives in their community,” says Liz Mell, Livability’s executive director of operations. “Our new facility at Livability Holton Lee, will be a state-of-the-art support centre for people recovering from spinal injury. It will provide specialist rehabilitation services away in a home-from-home environment which is focused on equipping people to manage life back at home and in their community. As part of our broader wellbeing centre, visitors will benefit from Holton Lee’s beautiful and supportive environment in which to build the skills and confidence to adapt to a life-changing injury.”

Liz adds: “Livability is committed to working with a range of local services and specialists in the area to ensure we are developing an offering that is fully integrated with local provision to ensure joined-up care and support for those using the service.”