Extending from these firm foundations
Many years on Shire Training Workshops Ltd still remains our company name. However, to reflect our ongoing development over the last years we have also traded as the Painswick Inn Project and Five Valleys Foyer. The company rebranded as OPENhouse in October 2011.
Although OPENhouse has developed significantly throughout these years it has always and continues to remain true, and developed in accordance with, our charitable vision, mission, values, and core principles.
Key Points in the ongoing growth of STW.
The Painswick Inn Project
In 1996 STW purchased the Painswick Inn Public House from Whitbread breweries. Work began immediately on converting the Painswick Inn to a ten bed hostel for young homeless people with a café, advice centre and training facilities. In 1997 the Painswick Inn Project (PIP), an initiative of STW was officially launched when a new arch was constructed showing 1997 as the year the Painswick Inn rebuilding project was finally completed.
This was also the year where STW became a Foyer providing both supported housing as well as training opportunities for young people between 16 and 25 years. In November 2001, Painswick Inn Foyer first achieved Accredited Foyer Status.
By 2000 the Painswick Inn Project (PIP) offered training and personal development opportunities through community based projects and activities, including wood based crafts and recycling, a youth information service, a café, and a sound recording studio.
2000 STW launched the pathway project providing Personal Development training for those who have become alienated from mainstream educational provision and are at risk of long term disadvantage. The project aimed to work with people whose personal advisors (Youth Worker, Social Worker, Careers Advisor, etc) have come to the conclusion that the existing alternatives do not meet their needs in respect of training and development. The pathway project aimed to provide the ability to follow a series of training and experiential activities which when viewed in their entirety form a process through from the creation and/or harvesting of a resource, to its processing, and onto its final use.
By 2004 in addition to the ten bed spaces at the Painswick Inn House STW had also built accommodation at Delmont’s Lot for an additional seven individuals. Four self contained flats and one flat shared by three people are located at Delmont’s Lot. This provides a number of “Trial Flats” that enabled individuals to make a transition from family home, or care, into independent living.
Over the following six years the Painsiwck Inn Project developed into Five Valleys Foyer; reinforcing the organisation’s determination to continue to provide education whilst growing in the accommodation it could offer. In addition to Painswick Inn and Delmont’s Lot the organisation also provided housing in two three bedroom flats in the high street and two flats in London road.
In 2010, just over thirty years after the initial launch of STW the property portfolio remained strong. In addition to using this property for just education and accommodation Five Valleys Foyer also leased out some property components to like minded community organisations.
The result being that by the time we re-launched as OPENhouse in October 2011 the organisation was a vibrant and embedded part of the community – a welcoming place where you can come to our court yard and meet, greet and eat whoever you are.
The focused work with disengaged, homeless and vulnerable individuals still continues to grow amidst this community hub. It is essential that the individuals we work with feel part of this community and not marginalised from it. This is essential if the individuals we work with are to genuinely become functioning, independent members of the community.