Beeching Park, the home of Hastings and Rother Day Service, is celebrating 50 years of service with its Golden Jubilee this year, and recently held a birthday party to mark the occasion.

12,000 days of service

This year the service celebrates 50 years of providing day services for people with learning disabilities.

Over the last half century, Beeching Park has seen two monarchs, 12 Prime Ministers and delivered over 12,000 days of service.

Party on!

Clients, their families and carers joined staff to celebrate the last five decades with games, a DJ and afternoon tea.

Clients were also given special celebratory mugs to mark the occasion.

Changing face of Beeching Park

The service opened on the Bexhill industrial estate in 1973 as sheltered workshop where adults took on therapeutic work provided by local business.

It became a day service, providing activities and support to adults with learning disabilities, in the late 1990s.

The site has the latest facilities and equipment for clients’ use including training kitchens, activity rooms, a computer suite, Sensory Guru and a large garden for relaxation, gardening, and sports.

‘Just amazing’

Beeching Park provides clients with a safe, social environment where they can learn and develop daily living skills and build important supportive relationships.

Lisa Ennis is a Shared Lives provider and has been involved with Beeching Park since 1987. She said: “The service is just amazing, and I can say for certain that I wouldn’t have been a carer for as I long as I have without the support provided by the service. The staff are wonderful and they are so dedicated.”

Textiles and nature study sessions

The service offers a wide range of in-house sessions including health and wellbeing, baking, art and creativity, multimedia, gardening, photography, nature and wildlife and music.

Twilight sessions with a more social focus are also available and include supper club, film club and games and disco nights.

Alison is one of the service’s longest standing clients and has been attending the service since 1979. She comes three days a week and particularly enjoys the textiles sessions: “Textiles is lovely and I enjoy tie dying. The staff are lovely.”

Another client Stephen used to do voluntary work when he first came to the centre in the 1980s. Now he enjoys the nature study sessions: “We make things – we made a hornets’ nest out of a balloon. One of my best friends comes on Fridays and I like the staff.”

‘Fun place to work’

A number of the staff at Beeching Park have worked at the service for many years.

Lee is a Team Leader at Beeching Park and has worked at the service for 10 years. Lee said: “Beeching Park is a fun place to work, nothing’s more enjoyable than coming to work and seeing the clients we support and the reactions we get. It’s such a creative environment and we’re able to give people the chance to try new things.

“All the staff bring experiences and opportunities to the service. They are a great team and it’s a great place to work.”

Deanna, has been working as a support worker at Beeching Park for 23 years. She said: “Beeching Park is such a happy place. For clients, it’s a place to see their friends and to be involved in activities of their choosing. In all the time I’ve been here, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t wanted to come in.”

More information

Beeching Park operates four days a week, (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri). As well as in-house sessions, the service also supports individuals in the community with visits to Bexhill Gym, Hastings and Bexhill libraries and the Horntye and Summerfields Leisure Centres.

More information on Beeching Park is available on the 1 Space website.

If you’d like to know more, you may be interested in these YES articles: being a support worker and busting myths about learning disabilities with Mencap.


Main picture – members of ESCC’s Adult Social Care and Health service with Beeching Park staff