Published date: 19 August 2022

Refurbishing garden space for Opportunities Together

Offerton, North West


Customers: NHS Stockport Clinical and Commissioning Group (CCG), Opportunities Together (The Learning Disability Resource Centre)

NHSPS representatives: Mark Lloyd (Principal Construction Manager), Daniel Burdett (Regional Partnership Director)

Customer quote

"We’re looking at connecting with mental health services. We know there have been a lot of people with mental health issues during COVID and we would like those people to come and join us, to come and do some gardening. But part of that will be that our people will be linking in with them. It’s always difficult for people with learning disabilities and autism to engage and be part of their communities, and this garden will give them the opportunity to do that."

Debra Smith, Service Manager, Stockport Council Learning Disabilities


Opportunities Together, previously known as The Learning Disability Resource Centre (LDRC), provides service users with learning disabilities with a range of activities to help improve skills, socialise, and have a sense of community. The property had a large, unused external area, so the project was identified for transformation as part of NHSPS’s Healthy Places and Social Prescribing programmes.  


NHSPS’ FM and construction teams, along with external consultants, worked with the staff at the centre to design an outdoor area that would provide stimulation and learning opportunities as well as exercise and fun. The service users were able to contribute to the process while the centre management staff had ongoing engagement with the project team. 

The new outdoor area provides a completely transformed open space for recreation and learning that will be the envy of other day care centres in the area. There is an allotment space and greenhouse for service users to grow fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as an outdoor gym with a range of equipment to encourage physical activity. The space also has a paved seating area for groups to socialise and for the centre to hold workshops, and quiet, peaceful areas for self-reflection or one-to-ones for the staff and service users.  


The newly developed grounds have allowed for new opportunities including the development of a Christmas kitchen area, healthy lifestyle planning, and a children’s sunflower competition. The centre also hosted an ‘Olympic Games’ for services users in the garden, making the most of the new gym equipment.  

Along with their core activities, Opportunities Together are now working in partnership with Glengarth, an evening activities group for adults with learning disabilities to provide respite for carers. As well as this, their new collaboration with a community food bank will support residents in need with access to fresh vegetables and affordable meal recipes. 

The service is having a profound effect on the local community and is making a huge difference to those who use the space. 

What our people said

“This was a fantastic scheme to be involved with and one which will make a real difference to the people using the Opportunities Together space, as well as the wider community.”

Daniel Burdett, Regional Partnership Director, NHS Property Services

Take a further look

You can take a look at the outside works at the Opportunities Together through this time-lapse video.