Our History

In the 1970s the only way that families affected by disability could have a break was if their child or family member was admitted to a special hospital. In 1977 a group of parents in Stockport decided to work together to set up an alternative.

With support from the local authority, they found a large building, which was turned into a holiday home for a small number of children. It was known as ‘The Pines’ and the service enabled parents to have a break, knowing that their children were being looked after in a positive, stimulating and nurturing environment.

‘The Pines’ became Independent Options and three decades after it was set up, the organisation offers a range of services to people of all ages, which are delivered by professionally qualified staff teams. We support over 600 people every year, our services operate in Stockport, Oldham and Trafford and we support people from other boroughs across the North West.

Isla's Story

Isla is three and a half years old and has been coming to the Children and Family Centre for around two years with her family.

At first Isla had no diagnosis, but it was clear to her parents that something was different from an early age as she had a short attention span and would have regular crises if other children came near her. Her speech was also delayed and she didn’t speak or make any verbal noises until the age of three.

By coming to The Centre, play around other children was normalised for Isla as she began to get used to other children being around and she loves coming to The Centre now. She enjoys the freedom to play in the garden or inside with the toys and crafts. Isla responds well to the staff and volunteers at The Centre and is confident to ask for help.

“Isla has speech and language delay but one of the first words Isla spoke was when she shouted “Messy Play!”, so we knew then how vital it was for her to come here.”

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