Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

The installation of a lift would open up the full potential of a building which has been delivering adult education for 93 years and would enable it to continue its mission of providing inclusive learning opportunities and to improve accessibility to our listed building to those with walking difficulties or
physical disabilities.
It is however more than a centre of education; it is a community of people passionate about, and committed to, its continuation.
It is a place where they can meet people and make new friends in a warm, welcoming and safe environment. The majority are over 65 years of age, (many are over 75), and the Guildhouse can be their main, if not only, point of social interaction. This is greatly valued by them.

Originally the building was constructed as a family home in 1805, our classrooms are currently set over 4 floors and 2 of the 3 toilets are on the 1st floor, accessed by very steep internal stairs.
64% of our current members are aged between 62-78 years, and a further 10% are over 80 years old, and many of them struggle to climb the stairs, some of them have been forced to cease attending.
The principal part of the project is an internal lift that will provide access to the classrooms and toilets on the first and second floors.
The secondary part is the creation of ramps for wheelchairs to be able to move freely on each floor.
It is not practical to extend the lift to the basement but there is only one classroom down there.
The installation of a lift in the central stairwell of the building will enable more members, including those with limited mobility and wheel chair users to access the first and second floor classrooms; this allows them to choose from the full programme of courses on offer.
It also enables members to enjoy their learning more often for longer. And, increase the chances of us operating at full capacity.
Consequently, PGH will be more economically viable by maintaining and increasing its student base, which as a non- profit organisation is our primary source of income.

The Trustees believe that this proposal will sit comfortably in this Grade II Listed Building and go some way in securing its future as a non- vocational adult education centre in Rugby.

How many people will it benefit?
Due to the demographic age of our members we estimate three quarters of our membership could benefit from this project.
In a recent survey of 660 members asking if PGH needed a lift, 64.5% said yes and most added a comment; e.g.
“As people are getting older like myself and have mobility difficulties it would be most beneficial to have a lift as coming to PGH adds to one’s wellbeing”
“This is essential to enable continuing inclusion of older people and people with
disabilities, in the learning experiences available at the PGH”
“I may need it one day!”

Mindful of increasing concern about the accessibility of the Guildhouse the Trustees have considered the options available in the shorter term:

1). Do nothing - which we believe will put the economic viability of the Guildhouse at risk.
2). Partner with organisations to provide courses elsewhere. This also would harm the financial position of the Guildhouse as much of the revenue will have to be paid to these organisations. It would also mean that many students would not experience the uniqueness of the Guildhouse building and longer term usage of the building would be very adversely affected.
3). Address the accessibility issue by putting in the interior lift. (N.B.It should be noted that Rugby Borough Council initially asked us to consider putting in two stair lifts but we persuaded them of the impracticality of this because of the layout of the floors, the ability of these to meet peak flow and the impact on the stairwells in an evacuation).

The Percival Guildhouse

The Percival Guildhouse provides a wide range of non-vocational courses for those aged 18 , enabling individuals individuals to pursue creative,aesthetic, academic, and skill improvement opportunities. It also provides an opportunity for socialising both in class, over a coffee or a light meal.

Location: Rugby, Warwickshire, UK