Work is underway to transform a former Doncaster hospital into a prestigious conference and events centre. Office space will also be available in the facility for long and short term use.
St Catherine’s House, on the St Catherine’s site, which is currently run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) is undergoing the revamp.
The house was previously home to RDaSH’s headquarters, which are now based further down the hospital site in some former nurses’ accommodation.
The house needed repair work carrying out and once the project is completed it will have a number of serviced offices to let, conference and meeting rooms available, which can be used for conferences, events and hot-desking for commercial organisations and community groups.
RDaSH patients and service users will be invited to volunteer and work alongside staff at St Catherine’s House, gaining valuable work experience in administration. The project, once off the ground, will be run by Flourish Enterprises, a social enterprise supported by RDaSH.
The house will be complemented by the Victorian Walled Garden and shop and the Victorian tea room. These services will also be run by Flourish Enterprises and already provide work and vocational opportunities to people who need support to get back into employment.
Nigel Spaven, RDaSH project manager, said: “This is an exciting venture. Instead of selling St Catherine’s House it has been decided to convert it into offices and events space for local businesses and the public to hire. Not only will businessmen and women and the public have a fantastic facility on their doorstep, but they will also be helping service users with mental health needs and learning disabilities to gain essential experience in a working environment, which may lead to them being able to seek permanent employment elsewhere.”
The office and event space will be available from November. Anyone interested in using the facility should ring 01302 798000.
The house will be officially launched on December 1 at a Christmas event at the venue. Further information relating to this event and the plan to make the area around St Catherine’s house a community space will follow.