How it all began
Associated Television (ATV) produced a popular soap opera in the 1970’s called “Crossroads”. In 1972 one of its characters was left paralysed following a car accident. A viewer, Noel Crane, who was himself severely disabled, contacted the programme’s producer to query some of the details of their portrayal of the disability. As a result, a further character, with a permanent disability similar to Noel Crane’s, was introduced into the programme and the problems he and his family encountered were modelled on those of Noel Crane.
At one point in the story, a leading character, Meg Richardson, started a fund to pay for nursing care to relieve the families of disabled people. Subsequently, in May 1974, ATV donated £10,000 to set up a real scheme in the town of Rugby to provide such care. Because the TV series had highlighted so accurately the needs of disabled people and their families, the organisers of this pilot scheme could think of no more appropriate name than “Crossroads”. Since that time Crossroads has spread to other towns throughout England and Wales and there are now around 140 schemes in existence.
A New Image
The number of carers needing support and the range of services we provide continue to grow steadily, but it became apparent that Crossroads was not widely recognised as the leader in support for carers and the people they care for. In August 2009, the name of the organisation was changed to “Crossroads Care” to better reflect what we do, and with help from TV presenter Esther Rantzen, the charity was re-launched with a new logo, better marketing publications and an improved national website.
Crossroads in Brentwood
Crossroads came to Brentwood in 1984. At first, the scheme was run from someone's spare bedroom but as demand and funding grew, ever larger premises were needed. In 2009, the Scheme vacated its rooms next to the Registrar's offices in Seven Arches Road, moving to much larger offices in Tallon Road, Hutton.
The Scheme has grown to support over 100 families with caring responsibilities. In 2007, following the closure of the Basildon scheme, it was decided to extend the scheme to Billericay, Wickford, Basildon and Pitsea.
In line with the re-launch, and to make clearer the current geographical extent of our services, the Brentwood scheme was renamed Crossroads Care Brentwood Basildon & Districts.