Thomley is a place for people of all abilities and disabilities. We bring disabled people, their families, carers and friends together with experienced and nurturing staff that understand their needs.
Thomley was launched in July 2002 by parents of children with autism. These parents found that their children were excluded from other play-schemes due to unavailability of appropriate activities and facilities, as well as their child’s considered inappropriate behaviour. These parents also observed the need to cater for the siblings of disabled children as they are often disadvantaged by the fact that attention is focused on the disabled child. In response to their own experiences, they were eager to lessen the feeling of isolation in the challenges of bringing up disabled children.
The founding Trustees consequently established Thomley as a recreational and informal educational facility for disabled children, their families, schools and friends.
In the past three years, over 4,200 disabled people and their friends have come to Thomley from 36 counties
In 2011, Thomley opened a new facility for disabled teenagers and their friends, catering for the needs of young people up to the age of 19 years.
On 18.02.11, Thomley became the proud freehold owners of its buildings and 9 acres of land, thus securing a long-term facility for disabled children, their families and friends. This was made possible by the extreme generosity and vision of our former landlords, Peter and Grizelda Rowsell, who for the past 50 years have availed this peaceful corner of countryside for disadvantaged children. Sadly Peter Rowsell passed away on 23rd December 2012. Both he and Grizelda hold a very special place in Thomley’s heart and we hope that the centre will remain a legacy of their charitable spirit long into the future.
In 2015 Thomley re branded, becoming ‘Thomley’ rather than ‘Thomley Activity Centre’, or ‘Thomley Hall’. Thomley adopted a new logo, a heart which is also a birds-eye view of the cycle track. This replaced the Hare which was the original logo of the organisation.
Thomley’s new 5 year (2011-2016) business plan clearly defines plans to maintain the unique quality of services operating since 2002, to remain responsive to the expressed needs of existing users and to prepare for the next phase of growth. Thomley’s priority goals within the 5 years are to:
• Ensure regular use of the centre, with particular focus on term time usage.
• Develop a programme to assist teenagers during their transition to adulthood.
• Build a ‘family support cafe’ to replace the former eating area destroyed by burst pipes.
• Attain financial security by establishing a stable reserve, and by completing payments for the freehold.
• Carry out extensive research into the needs of disabled adults so to plan for a future Social Programme.
Our main charitable goals:
• Disabled people – To improve the self-esteem, happiness and quality of life of disabled people, their families and friends, by offering healthy and purposeful activities enabling them to play, learn, socialise and work
• Parents and carers – To provide opportunities for the whole family to spend quality time together, giving the parents and carers of disabled people a chance to meet and to access information and support
• Community – To make the lives of disabled people and their families easier through disability awareness, education and involvement of the wider public, demonstrating practical examples for support and inclusion