It’s 30 years now since Making Space was born.... back then we were pioneers of the kind of services which care for, support and enable people to take part in all that their community, and wider society, has to offer.
We're still going strong and building for the future but so much time has passed... we decided to produce a timeline highlighting the significant milestones in our history to date... We hope you will find it interesting and inspirational.
1982 - With only £1,200 David Lyne establishes the forerunner of Making Space - the North West Fellowship (NWF) .The NWF is formed in Warrington after the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, where David is a group development officer, makes a decision at an Extraordinary General Meeting to close its regional offices. A NWF management committee chaired by the inspirational Frank Goodier is set up and, with around 100 members at this time, the organisation is driven by a real determination to make life better for people who have mental health conditions,and to support those people's carers.
1983 - Significant funding from Allied Dunbar helps the Charity to grow its turnover from £25,000 in the first year to over £280,000 in year two.
1984 - 1988 A first 'tender' for supported housing is won. Noelle Chesworth-Wigger, based in Stockport is the organisation’s first carer support worker. The first day service is set up in Skelmersdale. Supported housing and residential services become a main feature of service provision. A membership of interested people in the services of the NWF grows to 3,000.
1989 - Current CEO, Elaine Parker-Johnson, joins the charity.
1990 - A national vision for services is taking shape as a new office in Yorkshire is opened and the North West Fellowship becomes 'Making Space'. Wigan, Wirral and St Helens Community Care are part of the evolving organisation. Making Space's first employment development service is set up in Warrington. The Community Care Act 1990 is introduced heralding a growing need for the services that Making Space provides.
1991 – 2000 Employee numbers and services grow strongly. More supported housing and residential services are up and running - by the end of the decade these include Greengate House and Rivacre as well as Palmyra House, Kingshill and The Limes (Burnley). In 1999 Making Space launches its first Independent Hospital at Ashwood Court. Making Space’s first ‘workspace’ is created in Blackpool with funding from the local authority and engaging local businesses in projects to help build the skills and confidence of people with mental health conditions.
2001 – After 17 years of devoted service and having seen the charity grow to a turnover of more than £8million from his initial £1,200, David Lyne leaves Making Space. His service is recognised today in the current head office address - 'Lyne House'. A new CEO, Ian Rush, takes over and with the growth in turnover the old management committee evolves into a Board of Trustees. Making Space is awarded the first part of 'Investors in People' status.
2002 – 2003 The approach to Mental Health develops apace and a major consideration of national government policy and strategy. The Care Standards Act is enacted in April 2002 providing for the administration of a variety of care settings, including independent hospitals, nursing and residential care homes.
2004 - Elaine Parker-Johnson becomes CEO and Making Space really begins to plan for a national provision of services. An Executive Management Team is appointed to manage the expanding services.
2005 - 2007 Elaine Parker-Johnson is appointed Chair of the Mental Health Providers Forum – consolidating Making Space’s role as a partner with all of the leading organisations in UK mental health care provision.
2008 - Making Space makes a decision to expand its remit to provide services for people who have learning disabilities and also those people with dementia. The organisations Memorandum and Articles are adapted to meet these aims. Making Space opens its first independent dementia hospital at Monet Lodge in Manchester. A new domiciliary care service is set up in Bolton.
2009 – 2010 'Personalisation' - putting people in charge of their own care provision with personalised budgets - is becoming a feature of central government policy for people with mental health conditions. This approach to is further reinforced as Making Space embarks on a full consultation with the people who use its services, and its staff about the best way to adopt innovative treatments and therapies into the future - an ongoing process outlined in a Service User Involvement Strategy document produced in April 2010. Full 'Investors In People' status is awarded. £5million of new contract wins and acquisitions set Making Space up for the second decade of the new millenium.
2011 - 2012 - Turbulent conditions following the global economic crisis provoke the Government to announce and enact massive public health and social care funding cuts. Making Space, however, continues to show positive growth garnered by a collective determination to review and improve approaches, and find innovative ways to deliver new services. A major ‘organisational re-design’ to prepare for the funding cuts created an organisation equipped to adapt to the future.
Early 2011 starts with the news that Making Space has secured two important contract awards in Tameside and Knowsley, helping people with mental health conditions to recover, improve their access to mainstream services and ensure their inclusion in everyday society. Later that year a contract to run a ‘healthy living service’ for people with learning disabilities in Central and West Lancashire grows our influence and expertise in this area.
Building on our Service User Involvement Startegy a Service User Audit Team is established - service users now attend services to find out how we’re performing – giving service managers valuable insight ahead of independent and statutory inspections.
In early 2012 Making Space expands its service provision.....to encompass the relief of people who are in need by reason of any physical or mental illness or disability arising from age, accident, disease or infection including, without limitation, learning disabilities and dementia, and the relief of their families and other carers.
Making Space ‘Dementia Café’s become a feature of our service provision following successful facilitation in Bury. This illustrates our committment to people with dementia and plays a major part in helping us bid for more major service contracts and, also in 2012, we add Derby City and Kirklees to our support, information and peer support services for people, and their carers, experiencing the various symptoms of dementia.
By the end of 2012 we have won more new contracts. We now provide extra care services, for people aged 55 and over, at Parr Mount Court in St Helens, in partnership with Helena Housing and have established a carer respite service in Sheffield.
We continue to build for the future and remain resolute in our vision that all people who need them should be able to access the kind of services Making Space provides to enable them to find the freedom to enjoy an everyday life.