Maplewood House opened in 1968 to provide smaller homes in the community to take disabled children from the old long-stay hospitals. Next door was a 'Training Centre' where the children went to learn useful skills.
In those days many disabled children did not live at home with their families and Maplewood House provided a home for them as an alternative to institutional care in hospitals.
In 2010 most disabled children live at home with their families and Maplewood House is now a facility for respite care or 'short breaks' from caring.
The fact that the number of disabled children and the severity of disabilities has increased due to medical advances yet most disabled children live at home with their families is testament to the scale of caring the modern family with a disabled child is expected to provide and the pivotal importance of facilities like Maplewood in supporting them to do so.
It is not surprising then that it is estimated carers save the state £87 billion per year by providing unpaid care at home within the family.
Two letters from the archives show the transfer of some children from another training centre in Preston and that they didn't even have a telephone in 1968!
Children at Maplewood in 1972
The training centre next door was transformed into a special school and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1978.