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Introducing Owl Barn – a pioneering new rehab centre in Cumbria



A new day service built around therapy-led recreational activities has opened in an accessible barn set in an idyllic corner of the Cumbrian countryside. Armed with our cameras, NR Times visited A Chance for Life’s Owl Barn to find out more. Watch our special video report below.



Owl Barn is the creation of complex case management and rehab company A Chance for Life Ltd, which works with children and adults affected by life-changing injury and complex neurological conditions.

The fully accessible, renovated barn, near Penrith in the Lake District, will enable the organisation to translate its expertise into a new type of service for people of all ages and abilities.

‘OWL’ stands for Onward With Life. Owl Barn’s mission is to enable people to progress towards rehab goals and develop skills they can use in their day-to-day life through a range of engaging indoor and outdoor activities.

These include mindfulness activities, massage, outdoor sessions, cognitive rehab, horticulture, animal husbandry, cooking, baking and art and crafts.

Owl Barn offers bespoke, one-to-one programmes, generally six to 12-weeks, tailored to the needs and interests of the individual. The programmes are therapy-led and evidence-based, with clear goals, progress updates and thorough review reports.

Group programmes are also available, giving participants the chance to develop and practise new skills with consistent guidance and to take on extended projects.

For example, participants on a gardening programme will be able to plant, nurture, harvest, prepare and eat the produce grown in the barn’s accessible polytunnel.

Owl Barn is adapted to meet the needs of clients with complex conditions, with ramped building entry, a FlexStep wheelchair lift between the main room and hallway, a level-access wet room, an adapted kitchen and more.

It is overlooked by Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell, with sheep, deer and other wildlife on the doorstep, providing a beautiful and calming space for visitors to participate in therapy-led recreational activities.

A Chance for Life will be linking up with charities and other third sector organisations to share these facilities and activities with service users through its social enterprise arm.

It welcomes enquiries from existing clients, clinical or legal professionals working with a client who might benefit from the service, private individuals or families, and charities, groups or other organisations who may be interested in arranging sessions for a group.