Ken Newton-Wright came across Westoning Manor in Bedfordshire, which consisted of 40 acres of land, out-houses and stables: the ideal setting for his village. After six children and a teacher had moved to Westoning Manor in the previous year, in July 1969 with the funds raised to date and the help of Sir David Berriman, a founding parent, who negotiated a loan with his merchant banking company, MacIntyre bought the Manor for £33,000. Westoning Manor was described as the spring of MacIntyre. Sadly, Andrew Newton-Wright passed away before the school opened but his legacy was to live on through the children that MacIntyre would go on to support over the next 50 years.
“Beautiful. If you were to ask anybody ‘where heaven on earth is’ they will tell you, it was Westoning Manor. […] Everything was focused on the children.”
– Marje Caine, in interview for the Memories project in 2014
Care for Life
With the opening of Westoning Manor, Kenneth Newton Wright realised his vision of a community where the children were safe, happy and free to grow and develop their full potential. It was at this time the concept of ‘care for life’ developed. Westoning paved the way to a brave new world, challenging the health care model of provision for disabled people of its time, pioneering a new era of child-centred services and widening the life opportunities for people with high support needs.
Learn more about Westoning Manor by accessing the case study
“Any trend towards hospitalisation and institutionalism”, says Kenneth Newton Wright, “provides the wrong environment. To try to eliminate this, all our children will be housed in Norwegian log houses specially designed for the purpose with not more than eight children to each house with their own house-parents.”
The Guardian, May 23, 1969