Colchester: Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington opens mental health centre

OLYMPIC champion Rebecca Adlington has opened a new children’s health facility in Colchester.

During her visit yesterday the double gold medallist toured the St Aubyn Centre, in Boxted Road, and spoke to members of staff.

The �8million facility, which is only the second of its kind in the country, has been specially designed to treat children and young people with mental health conditions.

Mental health is an important issue for Ms Adlington, whose sister suffers from Encephalitis - an inflammation of the brain that leads to personality and behavioural changes.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Adlington said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to be here. I wish there was a facility like this my sister could have gone to when she was a teenager. Instead she was in a hospital in Nottingham with all different aged patients.”

The centre began treating patients in June and includes family therapy pods, a multi-purpose sports pitch and two wards.

It has been named after Mary St Aubyn, the chairwoman of the North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who is leaving her post after 11 years.

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It is hoped the Olympian’s appearance will inspire some of the patients a number of who are teenage girls.

“For me the whole reason for the Games was to inspire the next generation, to get kids in the pool and encourage them, that’s everything that I wanted to achieve.

“It’s all about leaving a legacy behind. Even thought the Games have finished, there is a lot more to look forward to and hopefully in a few years we’ll see the next Mo Farah.”

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