Sense-LogoNational deafblind charity Sense’s plans for a pioneering new centre for disabled people and the wider community in and around Birmingham has received a major boost following a £250,000 grant from theEdward Cadbury Charitable Trust.

 The Cadbury trust, founded in 1945 by Edward Cadbury, focuses on supporting the voluntary sector in the Midlands region and the money will go towards the building of the new £14m ‘Touchbase’ centre to be located in Selly Oak.

 The centre will offer a range of fully accessible facilities for people with disabilities, businesses, other charities and the wider community. It will include Sense direct service provision, day care services, arts and well being activities, a family and children’s area, conference facilities and a public café. The project is a partnership that cuts across the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

 Sense Chief Executive Gillian Morbey said:

“We’re delighted to receive this generous grant from the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust and work in partnership with them on this project. Their contribution will make a significant difference to what is a truly innovative project, providing high quality services for disabled people as well as contributing to the wider community.”

Charles Gillett, a Trustee at the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust, said:

“As a trust, we are particularly interested in social cohesion, preventing isolation and bringing people together in the community. This is a project that very much fits the bill and brings both disabled and non-disabled people together in so many different ways.  I feel that Edward Cadbury would very much approve of Sense and the thinking behind the ‘Touchbase’ project.”

 Construction of the building will commence in 2015 with an opening in 2017, with the creation of up to 130 jobs, helping to support the regeneration of the local area. The scheme has already received £2.1m of funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.