About and How it all Started

The John Graham Centre commenced in 2004 in response to what was seen by the Cook family as an unmet need in the local area for adults with learning disabilities.  This was recognised because of personal circumstances, a family member, Isabel who has Down Syndrome.  The Cook family also cared for Jonathan and Louise, all young adults looking for an interesting and stimulating centre to attend five days a week.  All three of them had previously looked at or attended services locally but nothing had been successful.  At the time, the Cooks had a small farm shop, some land, a couple of stables and a few farm animals.  After extensive research along with visiting many other day services they decided to open a small farming day service for adults with learning disabilities.

So, the John Graham Centre was born. It consisted of one room in the farmhouse, an outbuilding, two stables and a few animals. From very small beginnings, an abundance of enthusiasm and a clear vision, the Centre has developed into the forward looking, stimulating service that it is today. Our aim is to enable our service users “to learn and achieve together”.  We want everyone to enjoy their time with us and we want everyone to reach their best potential.

We aim to give our service users the opportunity to:

  • Gain new experiences,
  • Take pleasure in the countryside and healthy living,
  • Learn about animals and their therapeutic qualities,
  • Build creativity and aid expression,
  • Increase self-confidence and capabilities,
  • Work towards independence.

Promoting Independence

Whatever their level of ability, each service user will have a forward plan, regular meetings, individual assessment, support plans and risk assessments.

On commencement at the John Graham Centre, each service user is given time to settle in, and is then supported to make their own choices on areas they would like to be involved in. The service users will be assisted and supported to set goals for themselves if they would like to. Overtime, gradually building their own portfolio showing evidence of their individual progress and achievements gained.


If you are interested in attending our Centre and would like to find out more then, please contact us on 01227 478564 or email us at reception@thejohngrahamcentre.co.uk. We will book a visit for you to have a walk around the farm and our wonderful site.