The Wardens Trust - SPR proposals will be an existential threat to our charity.

Wardens Trust was founded over 30 years ago, to help people who have mental and/or physical disabilities to lead fulfilled and creative lives within their families and wider communities, improving their quality of life.
We are based in a large building, Wardens Hall, on the cliffs just north of the proposed EA1N and EA2 windfarm transmission cable landfall on the Ness.  We believe that the current SPR proposals to bring cables so close to our site will be an existential threat to our charity.
In 2018 Wardens Trust welcomed 2406 individuals through our doors, and in 2019, 2634 children and adults came to our centre for our services and facilities.
These are some of the things that we do at Wardens that are at risk.
  • Each year Wardens Trust is visited by children’s groups such as the Big Kid Foundation and Paddington Schools Children’s Trust; they bring children from London, who are at risk of school exclusion and gang culture, for camping and personal leadership development. courses.  KidzGoWild and MovieCamps bring children with neuro-developmental issues for a week of camping music and film making.  These children all have health, mental health and/or behavioural issues and all groups require high levels of adult supervision. We and our clients believe that the SPR proposal would have a devastating impact on both the amenity value of the Trust’s grounds and, crucially, the safety of our site due to the close proximity of the fenced cable corridor.  
This proposal will severely damage the amenity value and safety of our site for visiting children with mental and or physical disabilities.
  • The Trust has furnished a holiday flat for severely disabled individuals – The Avocet – with electric beds, hoists, specially fitted wheelchair accessible kitchen/cooker, wet-rooms and bath hoists.  There is an enormous shortage of well-equipped holiday accommodation for the most severely disabled individuals in Suffolk. Individuals and their families come to The Avocet for rest, to relax in beautiful clifftop surroundings and to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.  
The SPR proposal would dramatically reduce the viability and attractiveness of this holiday location for severely disabled people.  
  • Wardens Trust also delivers a range of services for frail and disabled elders, many with dementia. Deprivation, social isolation and loneliness have high prevalence in our immediate locality, as described in the 2020 Suffolk Hidden Needs report.  Wardens offers a unique Bath Day for elders unable to access a bath in their own home.  In 2019 we partnered with professional musicians, singers and a composer over 12 weeks to develop a song cycle for local elders with dementia and their carers.  
SPR’s proposal would significantly impact the amenity value of our Trust and its grounds and result in a major interruption to the services for this vulnerable group
  • During the Coronavirus pandemic, Wardens Trust has become a community support scheme giving telephone support to local isolated elders and delivered 800 cooked and frozen meals. With the local Good Neighbourhood Schemes in Leiston and Saxmundham we sourced, prepared and cooked 200 Christmas meals, delivered by our staff and a band of volunteers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

We are asking the Planning Inspectorate to

  • Carefully consider the severe impact on Wardens Trust, local community resilience and Social Capital from this proposal.
Social Capital is often defined as the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. Charitable activities are a component of Social Capital.  We ask the Planning Inspectorate to review carefully the impact of SPR’s proposals on Social Capital rather than solely on economics.
  • Undertake a Cumulative Impact Assessment of the multiple proposals currently affecting our coastline immediately adjacent to Wardens Trust.
Other windfarm and energy transmission projects such as National Grid’s Nautilus Interconnector developments are all being considered for passage through this Area of Outstanding National Beauty.  These would lead to a cable corridor remaining open for 10 or more years.

If you know anyone who would benefit from any of the services that Wardens Trust offers, please contact Bev Levett at wardensadmin@btinternet.com or 01728 635731

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