From institutional care to independence in the community
In the mid 1980s the Government decided to close long stay hospitals/institutions. They replaced them with good quality community based housing. Agencies in the Maidstone area joined together as a consortium to form mcch society limited. This included:
- Maidstone Health Authority
- Kent Social Services
- Sanctuary Housing Association
- Hyde Housing Association
In the early 1990s (as a result of the NHS and Community Care Act), the role of the partner agencies changed – and mcch became an independent organisation.
From 1987 to present...
- 1987 We were established as Maidstone Community Care Housing Society Ltd.
- 1988 We started providing services, re-homing over 50 patients from Lenham and Leybourne Grange Hospital.
- 1989 We find homes in the community for 50 patients formerly resident at Oakwood Hospital
- 1991 We expand our day activity services in Maidstone and Canterbury to provide life and social skills for people accessing mcch residential services
- 1992 mcch residential services for people with mental health needs expand – due to the closure plans for St Augustines Hospital
- 1993 We begin work on our first housing project for people with physical disabilities. East Kent day activity services include vocational training and employment services. Prime Minister John Major visits growing concern.
- 1994 Endeavour House, Dartford, becomes the first accredited Clubhouse in the UK. Acorn, a service originally set up by parents for adults with learning and physical disabilities is officially opened by the Secretary of State for Health.
- 1995 Kwik Bite, Herne Bay, is launched – an enterprise between mcch, social services, Headstart and St Anthony of Padua. Kwik Bite is relaunched as tuck by truck in 1998.
- 1996 We re-home people with mental health needs from Runwell Hospital.
- 1997 We run our first mental health conference.
- 1998 We celebrate our 10th anniversary at a ‘It’s a Knock-out’ style event at Mote Park in Maidstone.
- 1999 Club Connect day activity service opens.
- 2000 We take on mental health services in South Essex.
- 2001 Valuing People White Paper is published and welcomed by mcch.
- 2002 We win our largest contract to provide learning disability services in the London Borough of Bexley.
- 2003 autism london joins the mcch group. Supporting People programme is launched.
- 2004 creative cards enterprise starts in Bexley, making and selling home-made cards to the public. We receive a Kent Business Award for ‘the most outstanding organisation operating in the field of social care’.
- 2005 byways joins the mcch group. We take on new services in the Medway area. We write and publish Paying a Real Wage – a guide to helping people navigate the benefits system, whilst still being able to work.
- 2006 tuck by truck in Bexley opens. Our first major capital housing development opens called Howard Goble House, in Bexley, supporting older people with a learning disability, including those with dementia.
- 2007 We continually promote choice for people we support and some individuals are receiving personal budgets for their housing support.
- 2008 One Stop Shop in Maidstone is launched – a service in which organisations work together to provide support for people with mental health needs. Signpost UK is launched in the Kent area – a project to support people with their mental wellbeing. We celebrate our 20th anniversary with a big event at Detling for over 1200 staff and people we support.
- 2009 We take on new services in Sutton, as a result of the closure of the long-stay institution for people with learning disabilities.
- 2010 The first Live it Well centre opens in Ashford – a centre for people with mental health needs with many organisations operating under one roof.
- 2011 byways new development opens as flagship scheme in Hampshire. mcch Housing services manage the development. We are awarded the Customer Service Excellence Government Standard. We take on services in the Greenwich area and in Barking & Dagenham.
- 2013 We celebrated our 25th anniversary! We produced a Kent Messenger supplement to tell everybody what we have been up to over the past 25 years.
- 2014 We became a registered charity (number 1156486).
- 2015 We welcomed DGSM yourChoice into the mcch group of charities. After years of being the sole provider of services in the London Borough of Bexley, we became one of a few providers of learning disability services, by retaining over 70% of our services.
- 2016 We merged DGSM yourChoice fully into the mcch group of charities. Amongst their portfolio of services includes 2 charity shops. We also welcome Burgess Autistic Trust into the mcch group of charities.