Chris Heaton-Harris

Chris Heaton-Harris

As your local MP I visit many different types of organisations and charities. All are really interesting and provide excellent services and help; occasionally I come across one that is truly exceptional and benefits so many from our community. Reach for Health is one of those truly exceptional charities and it has been my pleasure to visit them over a number of years, watch them grow and witness how much they have achieved. Now it is being used by many of our local GP’s and NHS Hospitals as a centre to help with the rehabilitation of those who have experienced a major health trauma even though no monies are received for the services provided. Despite the increased demands and helping an astonishing number of people, Reach for Health has remarkably remained viable.

They are now reaching a point where they need major financial support from all who are interested, willing and able to support them, whether that be private individuals, commercial organisations or charitable trusts. The premises they currently rent from Daventry District Council are old, inefficient and too small to cope with the increasing demands. The lease is due to expire in July 2020; there will be no option to renew the lease anyway as the area may be redeveloped. The lease on any new premises would be on commercial terms and currently Reach for Health simply cannot afford the huge increase in rent that this would entail. The only realistic way forward is for them to raise sufficient funds to construct a purpose-built building that would be free of rent. This would allow them greater space and the opportunity to increase the services they offer, something they are unable to do in the present premises.

It would be terrible to lose the outstanding services that Reach for Health provide in improving the health and wellbeing of so many local people, my constituents, who have suffered a major health trauma or are living with a long-term or life-long illness and my fear is what they contribute to the local health economy is grossly undervalued and the full benefit may only be realised if they were to disappear.
What they are aiming to achieve will cost around £850,000 — a big ask, but when you consider the large number of people they have helped locally and what I know they can do for lots more people in the future, it becomes a target worth aiming for.

So if you would like to help, please get in touch with any of their hard-working trustees.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Member of Parliament

Rob Juson

Rob Juson

Reach for Health is the operating name of the charity Daventry Health Rehabilitation Trust, a registered charity that was formed in 2010 from an organisation that has been in operation for over 20 years.  Our team at Reach for Health have wide ranging skills that are all focused on one specific purpose, health rehabilitation.  Although many of our users are from Daventry and the surrounding villages, we provide continuing exercise based health rehabilitation for people from communities across Northamptonshire, from Warwickshire and sometimes further afield.  Our Daventry centre helps those who have experienced a major health trauma together with those experiencing long-term and life-long serious health conditions.  We are now experiencing around 2,400 user visits per month excluding those that attend the specialist classes that we operate.  We are an NHS Accredited Willing Provider, and work with the Northampton General Hospital Community Stroke Team, the Cardio Rehabilitation Team, the NHS Restart Team and C.O.P.D. patients.  Over 90% of our users were referred to us by their GP’s, NHS Hospital doctors and consultants or other Health Professionals.  We are currently receiving in the region of 500 new NHS referrals per year.  Despite the fact that we are recognised so strongly by the NHS we receive no income from them or any other governmental organisation.    Our current sources of income are derived from a small monthly charge to users, that equates to an average of £2.30 per visit, local fundraising carried out by our staff, volunteers, members and trustees and occasional grants that are invariably used to purchase new equipment.

The work done by Reach for Health benefits the health economy in a number of ways, including:

Improved mental and physical health & wellbeing with personalised care

  • Effective falls prevention
  • Reduced primary care demand
  • Reduced GP & NHS outpatient appointments
  • Reduced prescribed medication
  • Cardio Rehabilitation – reduction in further cardiac events
  • Improved life expectancy from improvement in all-round integrated care
  • Increased self-care ability of the community
  • Reduced social isolation

As a society we have to accept that with increasing pressures on the funding and resources of the NHS, community based rehabilitation is and will be for some time to come, low priority.  That does not however take away the need for such services; we just have to find smarter ways of providing them.  We must also recognise that lack of effective health rehabilitation merely serves to further increase the pressure on the NHS.  The NHS is something that overall we should be immensely proud of and at some time in our lives we all come to rely on the medical expertise that it provides.  Whilst some of us may complain and criticise, sometimes justifiably, many of us owe our lives to this outstanding organisation and the people who work within it.  However, if we experience a major health trauma or suffer a long-term illness we cannot expect the NHS to take responsibility for us beyond getting us back to safe and reasonable health. Following a major health trauma, e.g. a stroke or major heart surgery, the NHS can only offer their services for a limited period of time.  After that we have to take responsibility for ourselves in coming to terms with our situation and finding the will, determination and means of gaining as much improvement in our physical and mental wellbeing as possible.  This is what Reach for Health helps with and does so well.

Reach for Health is approaching a situation that may well threaten the future continuation of the charity and all of the benefit that it provides.  In July 2020 the lease on our existing premises at High March, Daventry, expires.  The lease is with Daventry District Council and there will be no option to renew as the area may be redeveloped.  If we were to be offered a lease on alternative premises we are informed that this would have to be on full commercial terms; estimated at 3 times our current rent and simply beyond the charity’s affordability.  We will therefore need new premises from which to operate and with continually increasing demand these will need to be larger and much more modern and efficient than the existing building.

The ideal solution is to raise sufficient funds to construct a new purpose built centre, on a site free of ground rent that will accommodate the increased demand for health rehabilitation services both now and in the future.  This solution will also allow us to offer additional specialist services. The current services offered by Reach for Health are largely confined to exercise based health rehabilitation.  However, within the skill set of our current coaching team we have the skills needed for additional services that to date we have not had the space to offer.  These additional services are entirely sports based.  It is our intention to add Sports Health Rehabilitation and Sports Injury Rehabilitation to the portfolio of services available at the new centre.  Our research so far has confirmed the demand for these services; many of the referrals will come from existing sources, the difference being that for these we will be able to charge normal commercial fees.

We have already made good progress in identifying the ideal site and are very hopeful that it will be made available to us.  The cost to construct a new purpose built centre and car park is estimated at circa £850,000.  We have targeted to raise these funds by July 2019 and to complete the new centre by July 2020.  It may sound like a huge sum of money but when one considers the number of people that will immediately benefit combined with those that will benefit in years to come, I would suggest it is a worthy investment in the future health of our community.

The simple answer is for just 850 people to donate to us or raise for us £1,000 each.  I doubt we will find it to be that easy!

If you or your organisation wish to be part of this amazing community based project please contact me to discuss how you can help or for any further information that you may require. We would be very pleased to hear from any potential commercial sponsors. If you would like to donate immediately you can make a payment into our NEW BUILD BANK ACCOUNT that is with the Charities Aid Foundation Bank.