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Project information

Transforminjg Lives Appeal

To create the first National Centre of Excellence to support any family with a profoundly disabled child who needs the highly specialised help Seashell provides. The centre will transform the lives and communication skills of children and young people with the most complex needs from across the UK.

January 2015 - December 2020

Charity information: Seashell Trust

Seashell Trust logo
  • Need


    The number of profoundly disabled children being born each year in the UK is growing and intervention at the earliest opportunity is absolutely key to their future prospects in life. The outlook for those children, whose needs cannot be met with specialist care, is bleak. Many spend their lives lonely, with little meaningful human interaction, often leading to a future in which they are heavily sedated in institutional accommodation in order to protect themselves and those around them.


    With profound and multiple disabilities, getting assessed as early as possible is crucial. Our assessment and early intervention service will enable us to recognise and respond to the needs of babies and children with the most severe and complex disabilities as soon as possible, making children more likely to reach their full potential and less likely to require full time care away from home.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To create a national centre of excellence for young people with complex communication needs.


    » Build 17 4-bedroom home-from-home residential houses on site for those whose only option is to live away from home.
    » Establish a national assessment service whereby families can stay for a week at Seashell whilst their baby's/child's needs are assessed.
    » Offer new short breaks for families from across the North West that are at crisis point and require time to recharge their batteries.
    » Build a new special Royal School Manchester to replace the original 1950s school.

    What success will look like

    68 children and young people accommodated in new homes; at least 12 families accessing short breaks; 2 to 3 families each week receiving assessments; a new school for 60 children.

  • Impact


    Profoundly disabled young people, with complex communication and learning difficulties, will live with increased levels of independence returning to their local communities having developed functional living skills. This outcome can only have a long term benefit on social costs borne by communities. Profoundly disabled young people will develop enhanced social, interpersonal and communication skills in home-from-home settings. Fewer families will face breakdown or possible separation.


    Inability to secure all the funds we require. Charity is underwriting the first phase of the development to the tune of £2 million. We are on track to meet much of the remaining target. If however we do not raise the balance of the funds and Seashell has to use further reserves to fund the shortfall, it will put the charity under considerable strain.


    Regular reports sent to donors. Update on website. Receptions at Seashell Trust to which donors will be invited.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,300,000 Residential homes First 9 residential homes and energy centre
      £1,000,000 Assessment and outreach Conversion of two old houses into 2 family houses and support for teachers and families
      £2,700,000 Residential homes Remaining 8 residential homes
      £10,000,000 New school New special school to replace 1950s school building
      £1,000,000 Bursary fund Fund to pay for short breaks for families in crisis

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Charity reserves £2,000,000 Guaranteed
    Trusts, individuals and companies £1,970,000 Guaranteed
    Trusts, individuals and companies £770,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The North West of England has a large number of major conurbations with significant populations of children and young people with extremely complex needs. Cheadle Hulme is based within Stockport in Greater Manchester. The campus is in a semi-rural location situated in the Green Belt which lends itself particularly well to such a population of young people.


    54,000 babies are born prematurely each year in England. 15% of the most premature surviving pre 27-week gestation are born severely compromised: cognitively, physically and ultimately functionally. The Centre for Disability Research estimates that the population of children under 19 who have a severe impairment hearing and visual impairment will increase by 25% in the next 20 years.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are one of very few providers offering 52-week care for the profoundly disabled young people. Our high staff-to-child ratio enables us to provide young people with a 24-hour individualised seamless programme of care and learning. We empower the young people’s families to develop the confidence needed to parent a severely disabled child. Our goal is that on graduating from Seashell, children or the young people make the transition back to their family or a specialist care setting near home.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mark Geraghty

    Chief Executive. Leads on all strategic initiatives and has a wealth of expertise in the field of low-incidence disabilities.

    Tony Snape

    Chairman of Seashell. Tony is a Chartered Surveyor who formally ran his own building and civil engineering contracting company.

    Gwen Carr

    Vice Chairman of Seashell. Currently the Deputy Director of the national NHS Newborn Hearing Screening programme.