£2m appeal for charity flats plan
A charity which supports adults with learning disabilities is to launch a £2 million building appeal.
Self Unlimited wants to raise money to build flats in the community for its residents near its Kibworth headquarters.
Many residents have already moved out of its extensive premises in Shangton, near Market Harborough, during the past couple of years.
The moves are part of the charity's work to ensure its clients become part of the wider community.
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Helen Mannion, who is heading the Design for Life appeal, said: "We are now looking to revitalise our services in the East Midlands area so that people with learning difficulties can live in their own homes.
"Our Design for Life appeal will raise £2 million to help us do this.
"Phase one is to build nine self-contained flats in the village of Kibworth."
She said a donor had provided the land and another had contributed £100,000 to get the project off the ground.
She said: "We need to raise £700,000 to build this much-needed accommodation."
Self Unlimited, formerly Care, has more than 40 years' experience providing support services to hundreds of people with learning disabilities across the country.
The fund-raising appeal will be launched by former CBI director-general Lord Digby Jones during a dinner at Leicester Tigers' Welford Road ground on Monday, May 13.
People are being invited to support the event by taking a table for 10 people which will cost £500.
News of the appeal comes as the charity, which employs about 1,000 full and part-time staff nationally, considers a merger with a similar charity called Hft.
Hft is a national charity providing local support for people with learning disabilities and their families.
Nick Townsend, Self Unlimited's chair of Trustees and David Croisdale-Appleby, Hft's chair of Trustees issued a joint statement announcing the possible merger.
They said: "Our two organisations have many shared values.
"The needs of the people we support always have been, and will remain, at the centre of any changes. We will ensure their best interests are kept at heart throughout the process."
They added joining forces would allow them to "provide excellent support to even more people with learning disabilities across the UK and ensure our two organisations have a sustainable future."
The merger proposals are being explored in detail in a procedure called due diligence.
They said: "Once this process has been completed, we will be able to confirm whether or not the merger will go ahead."