Project information

The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal

Double your donation! All donations to The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal made during Christmas Challenge Week will be matched! Help us to build an amazing new indoor activity space where young people with complex disabilities can take part in sports, dance, drama and sensory activities.

March 2018 - June 2019

Charity information: Chailey Heritage Foundation

Chailey Heritage Foundation logo
  • Need


    We currently have no useable, indoor space large enough for the young people to take part in group activities such wheelchair sport and drama and performance. Our current school hall, built in the 1950’s, is now showing its age and is no longer accessible to our increasingly complex and wheelchair-dependent children and young people. We want a space where the whole community can come together to celebrate their achievements, stage productions in front of their friends & take part in team sport.


    The Dream Centre will give young people with complex disabilities a modern and accessible space with a large indoor sports court where they can participate in wheelchair sports, whatever the weather. A raised stage for drama and performance, a built in trampoline for re-bound therapy and a 4D experience zone where they can virtually travel around the world while staying in the safety of our site. Most of our young people will never be able fly, and so we will be bringing the world to them.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide an accessible facility that levels the playing field for young disabled people


    » A large indoor sports court where young people can participate in wheelchair sports such as boccia, table cricket and wheelchair football.
    » Re-bound therapy using a trampoline built into the stage for exercise, enjoyment and fun.
    » A raised stage with a 4D immersive zone will provide a fantastic accessible multi-sensory environment for music and drama performances

    More young people taking part in performance & drama as well as team sports with other local disability groups.

    Aim 2

    Help young people to increase their mobility, independence and communication skills


    » Being able to play a team sport improves fitness and mobility and also helps to develop communication skills
    » Having a large new indoor space for practicing wheelchair driving helps young people to become independently mobile
    » Performance through music and drama provides ways of communicating thoughts and feelings without the need for words

    The Dream Centre will enable them to put on their own stage productions in front of an audience and learn to drive a power chair in the safety of our site.

    Aim 3

    Ability to offer a diverse range of learning experiences pupils may otherwise not have access to


    » A 4D immersive sensory zone will allow young people to travel virtually to different parts of the world whilst staying in the safety of our site

    The 4D Immersive zone will enable young people who can't travel to "virtually" explore different parts of the world such as the Rain Forests or the Pyramids.

    Aim 4

    Encourage young people to become more confident, to make choices and be more engaged in learning


    » Participation in music and drama performances helps with speak and language as well as building confidence
    » Team sports help young people to make choices and to think about other members of the team

    Smooth and timely transition planning from education to adulthood

    Aim 5

    Provide a facility that can be used to benefit the wider community too.


    » Ensure the facility is not just available to all young people currently accessing our services but to non disabled members of the local community too.
    » Use the centre to deliver activities for young adults with disabilities who live in the community or via our Life Skills Centre
    » Use the new centre to deliver events, talks, conferences and celebrations
    » Offer the facility to other local community groups and charities

    More young people using the centre and being able to generate a small income from outside groups using and benefitting from the facilities

  • Impact


    The Dream Centre will enable young people to: increase their independence through learning to drive a powered wheelchair; improve mobility and physical well-being through participation in sport, games and rebound therapy, develop their communication and interpersonal skills through team activities, develop friendships and discover and ignite their passions by immersing themselves in music, drama and performance.


    The biggest risk to this project would be not raising the full amount of funds needed. However, we have a fundraising plan in place and have so far secured 79% of the funds needed. We have a strong track record of successfully securing funding for a succession of major fundraising appeals and have a number of applications pending with funders that are warm to us so we are confident that we will raise the funds required. We also have several fundraising events planned.


    Donors will receive regular updates on progress throughout the project and we will publicise their support through local media. We will also have boards to recognise supporters of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £3,090,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,700,000 Construction Includes preliminary works, strip out and alteration, structural works and mechanical and electrical
      £390,000 Equipment Includes wheelchair sports equipment, trampoline, ball pit, sensory equipment

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trust funding - banked £722,450 Guaranteed
    Trust funding pledged £962,500 Conditional
    Freemasons, Lions, Livery Companies etc £170,200 Guaranteed
    Corporates £10,151 Guaranteed
    Community fundraising £40,463 Guaranteed
    Events £72,530 Guaranteed
    Individuals £59,710 Guaranteed
    In memorium £19,716 Guaranteed
    Friends of Chailey Heritage £100,000 Guaranteed
    Other £427,328 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Dream Centre will be based at Chailey Heritage Foundation, East Sussex. Chailey Heritage Foundation is situated in a rural location where there is a lack of accessible sporting and leisure facilities for those with complex physical disabilities. Families often have to travel long distances to access the facilities they need which can be challenging and time consuming as many of the young people have very bulky wheelchairs and require specially adapted vehicles to transport them.


    The project will directly benefit all the young people who attend Chailey Heritage School or live with us in our residences (currently 110 children and young people). It will also benefit the young adults who live in the community and visit our Life Skills Centre (currently 120 young adults). We also plan to hire The Dream Centre out to other organisations, disability groups and charities so that the facilities can benefit the wider community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Chailey Heritage Foundation has been supporting children and young people with disabilities for more than 100 years. Today, we are recognised as one of the UK’s leading centres for children and young adults with neurological motor impairment such as cerebral palsy, and we have a national reputation for our work in supporting young people’s communication and developing independence through powered mobility. Our School has been rated “Outstanding” by Ofsted over three consecutive inspections.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Helen Hewitt, Chief Executive

    Helen will chair an internal advisory group at Chailey Heritage Foundation.

    Mark Creamer, Vice Chair Of Trustees

    Mark is a Chartered Surveyor and UK Managing Director of CBRE Ltd. He will oversee the project as Chair of the Trustees’ Property Reference Group

    Simon Yates, Headteacher

    Simon chaired the Consultation Group of representatives from all parts of the Foundation. This group shared their ideas for the new centre.

    Sally-Anne Murray, Developement Director

    Sally-Anne works closely with the Chief Executive and Trustees to has overall responsibility for raising the necessary funds to build the Dream Centre