Opening our new base to support adults with brain injuries

Paces has opened a new base to support more adults from across the region and beyond who have brain injuries or complex needs.

Founded in 1997, Sheffield-based Paces is a specialist centre, charity and school for individuals with Cerebral Palsy and motor disorders.

Kirstin Hague and Sarah Perrin, who have been supported by the organisation since day one and whose parents were among the founders of the charity, cut the ribbon on the new 8,000 square foot facility at Smithy Wood Business Park.

The base, just off junction 35 of the M1, is two miles from the previous headquarters and current home of Paces School at High Green. The fully refurbished building will house the adult services provision, Paces Living, and the charity’s administration and fundraising teams.

The additional space will allow three-times as many adults to be supported in the future with an improved space to offer conductive education sessions that improve the mobility of those who have acquired brain injuries – such as through a Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

In time, Paces will also develop a service for young adults aged between 18-25 to ensure the organisation is able to offer the best possible care for those who need it no matter what their age. 

Dr Spencer Pitfield, Chief Executive of Paces, said:

“We never want to have to turn people away at Paces and our new headquarters at Smithy Wood will support us in that aim. Following a complete refurbishment, the easily accessible building will allow us to support three-times as many adults with brain injuries and complex needs.

“There is too little provision for adults with motor disorders and brain injuries across Yorkshire – whether that’s recovering from a Stroke, living with Cerebral Palsy or facing a diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

“Our unique offer for them, teaching life-changing skills through conductive education, in an environment that is fun, where friendships are developed, and everyone feels like they belong, is one I am excited will be available to more people in the months and years ahead.”

Paces has been campaigning for a new home for some time to allow for the expansion of its services and the numbers it can support. Moving adult services and the charity’s operational staff to Smithy Wood will allow plans to be taken forward for a new home for Paces School.

Ann Menzies-Blythe, Chair of Trustees at Paces, said:

“It has been a hugely challenging 12 months for the charity sector, which is why I am so proud we have been able to secure this new base, refurbish and open it despite everything we have faced.

“I want to thank everyone who has raised money for Paces, donated or signed up as a corporate partner. Your support has allowed us to move to Smithy Wood, enhance what we can offer to the existing adults we work with and ensure we can help more individuals with brain injuries and complex needs, from across Yorkshire and beyond, in the near future.

“I also want to pay tribute to our amazing Paces team who have driven this project forward in the midst of a global pandemic. I know it has not been easy, but I also know the impact it will have thanks to the unique offer which our Paces Living Adult Services provision provides.”