Heptonstall Slack Cultural Trust, Slack Top , Heptonstall

STCOver the last couple of years you may have been aware of some changes at Slack Top Centre which you may know as Slack Chapel.

External renovations were completed two years ago but the trust subsequently had administrative problems which resulted in the building being closed. These problems have now been resolved and we find ourselves looking to the future and endeavouring to use the building in keeping with our trust deed, which is to provide low cost temporary accommodation for people of limited means, encouraging care and concern for the countryside, and for the promotion of the Christian Faith. Previously these aims were met in the form of a self-catering hostel primarily for young people alongside the work of Mount Zion Baptist Chapel, the church which met on the premises. For various reasons this is no longer a viable plan for the building and we have been looking at alternative uses.

The trust is now negotiating a partnership with another charity, New Hope, who will work with us to renovate the internal fabric of the centre and establish a new use for the building still in keeping with our trust deed, which brings us to the reason for this letter.

We have been working closely with the Calderdale planning department which includes the conservation officer as the building is grade2 listed. The charity we are working with supports people with addictions and wishes to establish a residential rehabilitation centre. In order for this to go ahead we need to apply for a change of use on the building and in doing so wish to consult with the local community.

To facilitate this we have organised an open meeting on Wednesday 9th April at 7.30pm, in Colden School, the trustees of the building will be there as well as the director of New Hope to answer your questions and concerns. For those of you who cannot make this meeting we welcome your input either by mail to the above address or e-mail to joannehulmestc@yahoo.co.uk.

We know some of you may be concerned about the impact this will have on the church that has met in the building. The leadership of Mount Zion Baptist Chapel have been working closely with the trustees and are long term supporters of the New Hope charity. They are fully behind this change in direction, and are looking forward to the opportunities it will bring to serve the local community alongside New Hope. In the meantime they continue to meet at Heptonstall Bowling Club.

Please feel free to contact us for further information and we look forward to meeting some of you on the 9th. It would be good to see this building restored and used then to help restore people, a cause we are sure the original congregation of 1878 would have considered worthy.

More information on New Hope can be seen below.

The Slack Top Centre Trustees

Slack Top Vision

We are a charity and have been running a non residential rehab for people with addictions in Leeds for 14 years. We have had over 2500 people come through our doors in that time and have had some success in seeing people come of their addiction and returning to normal life. We work closely with doctors and government agencies to see that the people we deal with will get the best help they need.

In the past few years we have seen the need for a residential centre and have been actively looking for the last year. We have known Jason and Joanne for 12 years and met them to discuss the use of the Slack Top Centre for that purpose.

Our Purpose:

To accommodate up to 8 people in the centre for a period of 3 months at a time. They would have to be detoxed before coming to us.

When they arrive there will be a very controlled environment for them with full time staff and part time staff on site at all times. The people would have to remain free of drugs in the facility for the complete duration of their stay.

Each person would have an individual care plan and would have to agree to do work in the community while here. There will be very strict rules of conduct in and outside of the centre, any one breaking them will be sent home immediately. The people coming here will be put through an entrance check so that only those serious will be allocated a place.

What would this entail for You

There would be opportunities for you to come into the facility on open days to see what happens. There would also be an opportunity for any practical work you would need doing such as gardening or small decorating jobs.

We will be arranging meetings for you to put your point of view across in case you have any issues or fears.

Or you can have as little as possible to do with us.

Have there been any other places like this in a small community:

Yes there are. We have two who we know very well, one down in Norwich called Hebron; the other is in Northern Ireland called the Stauros Foundation.

Both have facilities in small hamlets and have very good relationships with the local people who have had no problems at all.

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