In the early 1980s Hightown positioned itself in the vanguard of the ‘Care in the Community’ movement: a commitment that would shape our future work.
Approached by a consultant from Cell Barnes Hospital, Hightown committed to developing its first service for people with learning disabilities. Arthur Mayo House, refurbished, opened in 1983 and named after one of our founders, was the first in series of new services that were designed to provide supported living in a deinstitutionalised environment.
New schemes included St Barnabas (1991), a supported living scheme for people with learning disabilities and the first service Hightown built from scratch, Leys Road in Hemel Hempstead and St Claire’s in St Albans (early 1990s), both residential care homes for former patients of the Hill End Psychiatric Hospital and our earliest services for people with mental health problems.
In the years that followed, Hightown remained committed to enabling individuals to live as independently as possible, in an environment that they could truly call a home.
In 2000, Hightown was selected by Buckinghamshire County Council to rehouse 33 residents from the Manor House hospital, a programme that led to the development of eight new care homes by 2002. Five years later we were successful in our tender for the ‘Home Options’ contract to provide three new services in Buckinghamshire to support 78 people with mental health issues to live independently.
The challenging funding climate of recent years has not altered our willingness to grow our provision and seek new opportunities. In 2016 we took on 30 new services from another provider who was moving out of the sector. This growth promoted Hightown into a major regional provider of care and support and expanded our operations into Berkshire for the first time.