16 October 2012, 17:28
Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington has today (October 16th) officially opened a state of the art mental health centre.
The St Aubyn Centre in Colchester, is specifically designed centre for treating children and young people aged 11-18 years old with severe mental health problems.
The base, which cost £9.6 million to build, was opened in June and is currently full.
The centre takes in children from places like Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire as well as Essex, and means they will not have to go to somewhere like Surrey to be treated.
The facilities include Family Therapy suites, Creative Therapy rooms, a gym, outdoor sports court and even a school with and IT suite and library.
Speaking at the opening Rebecca Adlington said: 'What they do here for people, 11 to 18 is amazing, unfortunately my sister was ill when she was 16 and there is nothing like this up near where i live.
'She had encephalitis, which is a brain virus, she was in a hospital for quite a while, the hospital where we live in Nottingham, looked after her perfect, but it wasn't anything like this, where you have got people of a similar age who can relate.'
Andrew Geldard, Chief Executive said: 'The St Aubyn Centre is a purpose-built for children and young people with severe mental illness.
'The building is bright and colourful which is stimulating and generates a positive atmosphere.'
And feels that Rebecca was the perfect person to come and officially open the centre. 'A lot of the children we have in the ward are young ladies, 14 to 18 years olds and we think that they will identify with Rebecca.
'She has a glamourous life, but she also has a very difficult life as well, she swims four or five hours a day, so she has a very rigid routine.'