Riverside House is a particularly beautiful and ecologically diverse site in the historic heart of Stourbridge. This derelict, early 19th Century, ironworks, was part of a conglomerate that was amongst the largest in the UK. Over the next several years it will be transformed into a heritage centre with gardens, restaurant, crafts shop, woodland and workshops, but also a place where people feel included and bespoke opportunities are provided.
This is a perfect environment that caters for the needs of a wide range of individuals to engage in practical skills activities through the actual conservation and preservation of the Riverside House estate. Practical skills have a proven efficacy in providing outcomes such as improvements in well-being, self-esteem, social inclusivity and physical health.
We see Riverside House as Dudley Borough’s flagship health and well-being centre. Deborah Harkins-Director of Public Health, Dudley MBC
Too often the efforts of those with mental health and learning needs are dismissed. This project offers a meaningful opportunity to transform this grade II listed heritage site and leave a lasting legacy for all to visit. Nikki Burrows-Children, Young People and Families Development Officer
A project such as Riverside House has the potential to transform the prospects of a whole community. Kate Braithwaite MBE-Operations Director at UnLtd-grant funders who support social entrepreneurship
A brilliant and ambitious social regeneration project. Charles Rapson CEO-School for Social Entrepreneurs, Midlands-grant funders who support social entrepreneurship
This is inspiring work @_RiversideHouse. Robert Macfarlane – Author of Landmarks
For up to date news, events and activities at Riverside House visit our blog at riversidehousenews.wordpress.com
If you would like to donate to Riverside Stourbridge Community Interest Company through social enterprise fundraisers Chuffed, then click here. 100 percent of what you donate will go to the CIC.
Help us decide what Riverside House should become. Take our online survey by clicking here
WHO WE ARE
Riverside house includes a Community Interest Company which is a particular type of company designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. The CIC will largely be delivering the activities and events on a site that will be run by a charity responsible for the restoration and management of the heritage and ecology, making it available for public benefit.
WHERE WE ARE
Riverside house is close to Stourbridge town centre and easy to get to by train or bus. It is a beautiful historic site that is being gradually renovated by staff and clients for the benefit of the wider community. We are opposite the Lion Health Medical Centre and down the canal from the Bonded Warehouse. See the location map at the foot of this website.
WHAT WE DO
We recognise that transforming an environment through learning and developing practical skills in a social context has immeasurable benefits. The simple joy and pleasure of making a craft artifact, growing a beautiful garden or making bread has many residual outcomes that include:
Increased confidence and self esteem
Increased team working abilities
Better physical health
Better inter-personal relationships and social integration
Increased community involvement
A reduction in loneliness and isolation
Increased practical skills
Enhanced work skills
Development of health and safety skills and awareness
…or, to put it another way, if you enjoy practical outdoor skills, historic places, would like to meet new friends, help transform a beautiful place into something special and have a lot of fun doing it, then contact us…
…we however recognise that what we offer may not be right for everyone. With our extensive connections to other local providers and professionals, we may be able to support you with bespoke solutions. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact and we’ll see if we can help.
We have an experienced team of committed staff and volunteers who are supportive, friendly and have a wide range of practical and specialist craft skills. Many have previously been teachers and tutors working in specialist provisions. The staffing ratio is kept very high so that practical and emotional support is always readily available.
Riverside House offers social prescription, private funding or individuals can apply through personal budget allocation. Alternatively, if you are under 25 and have an Education, Health and Care plan, what we offer at Riverside House may suit your needs perfectly.
We intend Riverside House to be the type of place that people will want to return long after a placement is finished to continue the sense of belonging , to enjoy the park, leisure activities, woodland, cafe and the connection with others.
This is an outstanding provision, it’s unique, you’ll not find it anywhere else. Karen Munn
Riverside House are an approved provider for Black Country Impact who provide funding and support to help young people, who are not at work or college and aged between 16 and 29, withsecuring employment, education and training opportunities.
Riverside House is particularly inclusive and are going to be working with very different groups of people at different times. Our first two project are described below. Please do not hesitate to get in contact if this does not quite fit your needs, these are the first of many anticipated projects. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, PTSD, in recovery or anything else then we can try to arrange bespoke solutions. If you are aged between 16 and 29 and not in education, employment or training, you may be able to get funding through Black Country Impact. Just get in contact and we’ll see how we can help.
Click on image to enlarge
Complete the short form below and we will be in contact within 24 hours. Alternatively call us on 07903 672280. If you are struggling to find funding. please contact us to discuss further.
SIGNIFICANT 19TH CENTURY INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
Riverside House is a charming and enigmatic site that is nestled between the River Stour and the Stourbridge Canal and close to the town centre. The site includes woodland, public open space, a grade II listed house with its walled garden, grade II listed workshops and the remains of a dry dock and narrow boat basin.
The ironworks consisted of forges, fineries, rolling-mills and foundries which transformed pig iron into casted and wrought iron products. Wrought iron being, at that time, the most widely used form of iron product. In its heyday, the forge and ironworks conglomerate employed 600 people.
Historically, the ironworks on the site, that being the Stourbridge Ironworks and the later partnership of The Foster and Rastrick foundry, located next door, are of great importance, both nationally and internationally. Kate Churchill archaeologist
Riverside House have also adopted the towpath from Canal & River Trust and will be renovating this historically significant section of the canal which includes the entrances to the dry dock, canal basins and crane base.
Explore the fascinating heritage of Riverside House in more detail at riversidehouseheritage.wordpress.com
Help us decide what Riverside House should become. Take our online survey by clicking here.
Check out plans for Riverside House’s exciting new facilities by clicking here. These innovative low impact buildings will provide cafe and dining area as well as meeting/activity spaces and toilets for clients, staff and the local community. The research for this has been informed by a thorough engagement and consultation process click here
Woodland, public park and heritage
A parkland with wild flower meadows, pear and apple orchards is planned for the site. The woodland will be managed and paths with enable access to the various activities that are being planned. The dry dock and canal boat basins will be restored to their original function.
Cafe, shop, events and hosting
Riverside House are planning a top quality cafe/restaurant and a locally sourced craft and produce shop. Additionally we intend to host artistic events and freelance practitioners will be able to hire rooms and spaces.
Craft demonstrations and classes
We plan to host crafts people and activities that are congruent to the heritage of Riverside House, executed in as traditional a way as possible. We intend to hold classes and demonstrations in activities such as blacksmithing, metal casting and basket making.
The Riverside House site is managed by Riverside House Stourbridge Limited which is an ethically constituted company with a board of nine local directors:
Martin Bilton-Vice president at Deutsche Bank
Ian Flynn-Investment Manager at Warwickshire County Council
Helen Garbett-Director of Goodlife CIC
David Harcourt MBE-Retired Manager of Waitrose Stourbridge
Simon Meddings-Museum Exhibition Designer, Simon Meddings Associates
Jan Milward-Retired Manager from specialist school provision
Cllr. Matt Rogers-Tree Surgeon
Lloyd Stacey-Founder and managing director of Riverside House
The community Interest Company delivers activities by providing therapeutic craft and land based engagement services for a variety of beneficiaries. Currently there is one director, Lloyd Stacey, but there is an intention to eventually have a board of three directors.
We want Riverside House to be an outward looking organisation. On the one hand, working with the expertise that other organisations and individuals can offer, and on the other, being a catalyst and inspiration for new initiatives. We have many regional and national stakeholders, funders, and partners that are actively supporting Riverside House.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
A GUIDED TOUR OF RIVERSIDE HOUSE
The task of transforming Riverside House over the next few years will be significant and is it being created out of nothing. Riverside House itself and the local community are our greatest assets. We need all the support we can get, which will obviously include financial input, but particularly the expertise and generous willingness of the community.
If you would like to donate to Riverside Stourbridge CIC through social enterprise fundraisers Chuffed, then click here. 100 percent of what you donate will go to Riverside House.