Highview was bought in 1962 by Mr. Hugo Schwab and donated to the people of Maidenhead in gratitude for the help he received when he first came to this country. It was to be used for helping handicapped people and was placed in Trust as "Maidenhead Centre for the Handicapped" for this purpose. For a number of years it was used as the Adult Training Centre, but when they had a purpose built building provided Highview closed. In 1977 the Trustees offered Highview to Maidenhead Mencap as its headquarters and as a venue for its activities.
From the beginning Maidenhead Mencap realised it could not use Highview to it's full potential, nor could Mencap afford to run it alone. It formed a committee to manage the building. Apart from the property itself the Trust had no funds, assets or income for upkeep. Mencap looked around for suitable groups to share the accommodation in order to spread the costs of upkeep and maintenance and soon found that office space was much needed by several local charitable organisations dealing with persons with handicaps. Maidenhead Mencap presently shares Highview with the Highview Toy Library, Maidenhead Voluntary Car Service, Berkshire Carers Service and Alzheimers Society.
The services offered have varied from time to time. Mencap Monday and Saturday Clubs are for our able bodied members andhave been running for many years. The Wednesday Club caters for the more severely handicapped.
Highview receives a lot of help and support from friends. Dulux donated paint for decorating on several occasions. Highview underwent a major enhancement programme for which 160 litres of paint were provided. Similarly a generous donation from Maidenhead Association for Mental Health which enabled the refurbishment of the ground floor toilets.
Mencap has provided a Sensory Garden initially funded from donations received in memory of two members Grete Winton and Derek Robinson. Several plants and pieces of equipment have also been provided to remember absent friends. Their loved ones are always welcome to come and sit in the garden, which is becoming a haven of memories as well as a place of calm, peace and beauty.
The management committee attends to the financial needs and obligations of Highview by gathering in contributions from the various occupants of the offices and rooms and by its commercial letting of a self-contained flat at the top of the buidling. A year on year maintenance and repairs schedule is kept under regular review so that potential problems are kept to a minimum. To this end the management committee does an excellent job.
The various occupying groups get on well together understanding each other's problems and sharing their joys. It is often said that professionals and volunteers cannot work together successfully. Some organisations have paid staff - many jobs, after all, require special training. At Highview, professionals and volunteers work side by side all respecting each other for the contribution that they make. Within the walls of Highview there is an incalculable wealth of giving that comes with teams of workers devoting their time, energy and understanding to help people who are less fortunate and those who care for them.
Copyright Maidenhead Mencap Society (c)2004-2019