AN AMBITIOUS fund-raising project is set to transform the lives of residents at an Accrington care home.
Volunteers at the Rough Lee Home for the Physically Handi-capped - which caters for young adults with physical disabilities - are planning to launch a £50,000 fund-raising campaign in the next few months.
The money would be used to convert a two-storey cottage in the grounds into a state-of-the-art learning centre for residents, complete with a sensory experience room, computer suite and gym equipment.
The campaign has the backing of Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh, who has agreed to be patron of the home and staff have launched a website to promote their fund-raising effort.
Volunteer Mary Baines, who has been fund-raising co-ordinator for the Rough Lee Road-based home since December, said they had set up a special committee, Near and Far, to manage the campaign.
Members were compiling a portfolio, business plan and photographs to be sent to 50 Hyndburn businesses in April, asking each one for a donation of £1,000. She added that the project would build on the achievements of the home's 14 residents, many of whom are now studying for college courses.
She said: "The cottage is right next to the residents' home but it is empty at the moment. We hope to change it into a centre especially for those with physical disabilities and we would also open it up to other local groups, making it something that benefits the community.
"The home itself is set in a woodland garden but the residents can't access it as the pathways are too steep, so we've also applied to various companies for grants to get them re-laid. We wanted to do something that gets everyone involved and we're going to have to be more ambitious if we want to get this up and running."
Mary added that they were delighted when Julie, who plays Hayley Cropper in the soap, agreed to support them.
She said: "I wrote to her in December and invited her to visit us - she came within a week. She was really enthusiastic, and even took the residents on a tour of the Coronation Street set in January, which they loved. We really believe we can do this - it is all very new, but we are very excited about it."