Caistor’s old ‘Fleece’ is transformed once more

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064841001
Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064841001

Hard work, a fighting spirit and a lot of support has transformed a Caistor building into a home for people with learning disabilities.

The former Fleece Inn and, more recently, used as a school, the building at Caistor Top has been given a new lease of life.

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064818001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064818001

The new Rock Foundation premises was officially opened on Friday, when a number of invited visitors went along to see the transformation and hear what the future will bring.

Rock Foundation is the brainchild of Pam Hodge, who started the charity after discovering there was little government or local council help for her disabled child when he became of independent age.

Rock Foundation’s aim is to enhance independence and life skills for those living with disabilities.

Pam, who is CEO of the charity, said: “It hasn’t been easy getting to this stage, we have had a lot of knocks - but we have got here, and I want to thank everyone who has given their support.”

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064755001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064755001

A particular concern to many parents with disabled children is what will happen to their children when they are no longer here.

That is what the latest phase for the Rock Foundation plans to address.

However, this is where the charity is facing another hurdle, as Pam explained.

“We want the building to be residential, but changes in policy at the CQC (Care Quality Commission) means we are being told we have to be supported living.

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064732001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064732001

“This is not suitable for many people.

“With supported living, the care they receive can be changed - I wouldn’t want my child to have just two hours of care a day, it just wouldn’t be suitable.

“We want the best for them all, so we are willing to fight this decision.”

Grimsby MP Melanie Onn is keen to support Rock in its quest.

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064645001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064645001

She said: “After the recess, I will be getting in touch with Sir Edward Leigh (MP for Caistor) and with the secretary of state to try and get them to come and visit the site, and meet with Pam to hear first hand the issues.

“This (situation) is an unintended consequence of policy change.

“We need to not always look at the bottom line; these are human beings, and deserve the best life possible.”

Meanwhile, Pam and the charity’s team will be continuing their work.

The building still has some minor areas to be decorated and finished off.

When complete, it will be able to accommodate 13 residents - seven in the boys’ wing and six in the girls’ wing, plus two rooms for respite care.

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064744001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064744001

Caistor Mayor John Wright was one of those who went along to the opening.

He said: “I have been coming to this building since I was a kid and it is nice to see its transformation.

“The last time I was here was when it was the Montessori School, as my children attended there.

“Rock have done a fantastic job and it was great to look around - I didn’t realise quite how big a building it is.”

“I am extremely pleased to have been invited to come along and see the transformation.

“With the tea room, gift shop and sweet shop on site too, it really is a great facility.

“It is good for the charity, and it is great for Caistor as a whole.”

Coun Owen Brierley

Coun Owen Brierley

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064829001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064829001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064721001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064721001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064709001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064709001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064657001

Rock Foundation official opening EMN-190608-064657001