A learning disabilities charity celebrated the opening of its new Watford headquarters with a party.

Watford Mencap has moved into the former Nascot Lawn building in Langley Road, North Watford.

The opening was celebrated at the charity’s ‘Party in the Garden’ event on June 25.

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More than 250 guests, including families and supporters, were treated to a barbecue hosted by the team from the Café in The Library, as well as a cake stall, garden games, tombola and a very popular silent disco in a pop-up nightclub.

Guests were also able to take a tour of the accessible facilities which are now available at the hub, including playrooms, a sensory room, training kitchen, and learning spaces.

Watford Mencap chairman Roger Jones said: “The new facility in the heart of the Watford community provides a permanent home from which our caring and experienced teams will be able to support people to live the lives they want for themselves.

“We are grateful to Watford Borough Council for helping us to secure this wonderful building, which will be a hive of activity and inspire people for generations to come.”

Watford Observer: New Mencap site, Langley RoadNew Mencap site, Langley Road

The Nascot Lawn building has been empty ever since the respite centre closed, despite a campaign from parents to save it that went all the way to the High Court.

The new refurbished site will be a major upgrade on Watford Mencap’s previous home at the Lemarie Centre in St Albans Road, as the renovation which was undertaken to meet the needs of the charity has now been completed.

The new centre will provide daily support for learning disabled people and a specialist activity space will be bookable for other community groups, local charities, and families to use by the hour.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “The council is delighted to have helped Watford Mencap find a new home in the town that offers them so much potential.

Watford Observer: Silent disco nightclubSilent disco nightclub

“They are a wonderful charity that has been serving some of the most vulnerable members of our community for 70 years.

“They are a real beacon for hope and demonstrate what makes Watford such a special place.

“The new home marks the start of an exciting future for the charity, providing scope for more facilities and services and offering a hub for similar activities run by other groups and organisations including Playskill who are also based at the site.”

Watford Observer: Site opening with Dean Russell and Peter TaylorSite opening with Dean Russell and Peter Taylor

A number of local companies got involved to support the event.

Swan Windows Limited sponsored the party, Aramark, which caters the Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, loaned their barbecue equipment and Borras Construction brought along their mascot Buddy to entertain the crowd.

Watford Observer: The site openingThe site opening

Watford Mencap is an independent self-financing local charity supporting people with learning disabilities in Watford, Three Rivers, and Hertsmere.

The charity works with learning disabled people, their families and carers to enable them to lead the life they want for themselves.

Watford Borough Council negotiated the purchase of the new building from the previous owners Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), before it was put up for sale on the open commercial market.

Once this purchase was complete, the council simultaneously completed an agreement with Watford Mencap to pass the property directly to them in a back-to-back, not-for-profit transaction.

Watford Observer: The new siteThe new site