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Raeburn Consulting is Proud to Have Helped National Children’s Charity Secure Derbyshire Home

Over The Wall, a UK children’s charity has signed a forty-year lease with the Moravian Union to occupy the former Ockbrook School as its new headquarters and national location. From this location, Over The Wall will run its award-winning residential camps for seriously ill children and their families.

Founded by the late Oscar-winning Hollywood actor, racing driver, and philanthropist Paul Newman, Over The Wall’s specialist residential camps help children living with serious illness and their families address the isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem, and confidence that often accompany childhood illness.

The charity’s completely free-of-charge programmes give these children the opportunity to take part in activities often denied to them in a fun-filled, positively affirming, safe environment where, in the friendly and often boisterous company of peers, they can just be kids and do lots of kids’ stuff. Over The Wall proudly boasts, with good reason, that they help to ‘put the child back into childhood.’

2024 marks Over the Wall’s 25th anniversary, and the charity has been running residential camps at rented properties throughout the UK since 1999, serving more than 9000 beneficiaries with more than 130 different health conditions.

Recently awarded an ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted, Over The Wall plans to develop the former school site and commence residential and day camps in 2026.

Over The Wall's Chief Executive, Kevin Mathieson said:

“We are super excited to have finalised the arrangements to acquire this beautiful site and plan to sympathetically develop it, in keeping with its heritage, to create a national centre for our life-changing programmes. It will be quite something to return children once more to this historic site, which until recently had been a vibrant school for more than 220 years.

“We will shortly be submitting planning permission to reinstate the Mount, which was severely affected by water damage in 2022, to become a residential centre for our beneficiaries. This initial phase is set to pave the way for our plans to open in 2026 and thereafter further develop the site in later years.

“We plan to hold community engagement meetings at the former school during May to introduce ourselves to the local community, provide further information on our aspirations for the site and answer any questions. We very much want to be the best possible neighbour for the Ockbrook community.”

Over The Wall plans to significantly increase the number of children it can serve and has an ambitious target of serving more than 100,000 residential beneficiaries in the next 40 years.

By expanding its operations and moving its headquarters to Ockbrook, the charity believes it will create up to 50 new jobs for the area over the next three to five years and provide new opportunities for volunteer engagement at its camps.

Derby-based real estate company Raeburn Consulting and Managing Director Paul Raeburn acted as the agent pro bono in the detailed and protracted negotiations to acquire the lease. Over the Wall wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the company and, in particular, Paul.

Paul Raeburn, Managing Director of Raeburn Consulting, commented:

"I was thrilled to help Over the Wall, a charity I've been involved with for twenty years. When the school became available for lease about three years ago, the Board asked for our advice. After lengthy negotiations, we secured a 40-year lease. This will allow Over the Wall to have a permanent site instead of renting space at private boarding schools during school holidays across the country.

"I want to express my gratitude to Walker Morris, whom I introduced to handle the legal matters and who generously provided pro bono services. I also want to thank Crowther Turnbull Booth for their crucial role in assessing and advising on conditions and repair costs at a reduced fee."

For additional details and updates on the project, please visit the Over The Wall website. To support and donate to the project, please visit:

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