Film ID:
NEFA 19532



Visitor Tabs


A Turners Film and Video Unit sponsored film about the St John of God Community Care centres and housing produced on 10 June 1992. These include Rockcliffe Court ,Thornborough House near Leyburn, White Lodge, Mowbray Road, South Shields, and Coulby Newham and Hemlington, where care for the disabled offers an enhanced quality of life over traditional ward-based institutions.

The film opens with a view of the symbol of the St John of God Order.

Title: “We Should Provide, Where There Is Need” (St John of God 1495 -1550 AD)”

A woman mixes a liquid in a cup. A man in a wheelchair is using a washing machine in a laundry room. In voiceover he explains he once worked as an auxiliary nurse, and then on camera explains that he developed a mobility disability. He initially was admitted into an institution but has found a home. A woman in a wheelchair explains how she also has found independence at Rockcliffe Court.

The man explains how he can enjoy the facilities in the main community centre lounge nearby. A view of the lounge shows people sitting drinking tea, while others play snooker. The man plays the organ there and acknowledges the brothers of St John of God for providing him with a home.

One of the monks in the Order walks down a corridor, and past a statue of St John of God.

Title: ‘Brother John Hospitaller Brother of St. John of God’

Brother John sits down on a pew in a chapel and speaks to camera about St John of God, about the man and the Order and the care they give to the sick, the old and disabled. They don’t work in isolation but work with other statutory bodies providing healthcare.

A list of mounted nameplates follow citing, presumably, the names of other St John of God care facilities.

The film then shows a large house in a country setting. Nursing staff care for young and old with severe physical and learning disabilities. A mealtime session is shown, as are other facilities according to the commentary in a facility which is institutionalised and outmoded.

Back at Rockcliffe Court, help and supervision is given to a man in a wheelchair preparing a meal in a standard kitchen. He stirs some baked beans in a small pan, then pours them out onto a plate. The man in the wheelchair seen earlier comes into the laundry with his washing powder.

The woman in the wheelchair speaks enthusiastically about the thought and planning that went into Rockcliffe Court.

An exterior view shows the Rockcliffe Court buildings and a wall with the name set into the brickwork. The commentary states that the facility was purpose built.

Title: Thornborough House

In contrast the Thornborough House facility was developed by converting a large house. The house is near Northallerton and gives support to six women with learning difficulties who formerly lived in a much more institutionalised facility [Thornton Lodge] for 25 years.  A man and two women enjoy a cup of tea together.

Title: [superimposed] ‘Colin Wilkie Contracts and Planning Manager Northallerton Health Authority’

Interview with Mr Wilkie who explains how the authority is very pleased with the facilities and care for the six women at Thornborough House.

A woman walks behind one of the residents as she negotiates a ramp leading out of the building in her wheelchair. In the kitchen two women prepare food, including baking scones. Another resident practises some embroidery in her own room.

Mr Wilkie continues with his overview of the service.

Out on the streets of the nearby town of Leyburn, the resident in the wheelchair is helped along by an assistant. The commentary observes that access to part of the centre of the town has been made much easier for those in wheelchairs. The wheelchair user makes her way along a pavement which has dropped kerbs at the junction with a road.

The film cuts to a view of the Golden Lion pub in Leyburn. The woman in the wheelchair and her assistant enter the pub.

Title: Eagle Cottages – Jarrow.

This home is a terrace of two stone built cottages. The nameplate ‘Eagle Cottages’ appears on a gate. The St John of God Order have provided spaces for six people with learning difficulties in the cottages.

Travelling shot along a corridor in a hospital. The building is derelict but represents the type of institutional care which was once the norm for those with learning and physical disabilities.

Superimposed on this footage are still photos of the facilities appearing in the film; Rockcliffe Court and Thornborough House.

A derelict washroom is shown as footage of the old hospital continues.

A name plate mounted in iron scrollwork is attached to a brick wall. The name reads ‘White Lodge’.

Title: No. 1 Mowbray Road South Shields

Another house for small group living. Brother Mark of the Order walks down the street. The commentary states that he was assigned to the conversion project, in order that the new occupants can move seamlessly from one home to another.

Brother Mark talks with a woman in one of the rooms about details regarding a doorway. The commentary states that seven young people will be the new occupants, moving from institutional care.

General view of one of the shared bedrooms. The woman and Brother Mark stand at the window as Brother Mark speaks about the shops and amenities just nearby. Traffic moves along the busy streets outside.

A group of staff assigned to the home train together. They demonstrate how to move someone safely who cannot walk. A man is lifted from a chair to a couch.

Three men are standing front of a display board, one of them a member of St John of God, studying a plan.

A foundation stone is laid for a new pastoral care and day centre. The Prior General of the Order Brother Brian O’Donnell oversees the laying of the stone as two workers move it into position. The centre is being built at Hemlington near Middlesbrough’s new cathedral. As part of the stone laying ceremony, Brother Brian taps it into place. Schoolchildren attend the ceremony, one of them holding a leaflet for the event which is dated 10 April 1992. A close-up follows of the inscription on the foundation stone. An information board for the site gives details of the builder contracted to do the work and what is to be built on site.

A steering group meeting itakes place. The members of the Saint John of God Order are present, as are parents of possible new residents for a project at Coulby Newham, not far from Hemlington. The project will be for another independent living scheme for young people. A detailed plan of the new building is on the wall behind one of the tables.

On the plan a moving image appears edited into the film showing a woman pushing a child in a wheelchair.

Two of the order and a representative from the local authority visit the, as yet, undeveloped site.

Brother John walks through the Rainbow centre at Coulby Newham with a young man walking alongside. Brother John shows the young man a plan of the centre. In voiceover he describes a new home for people with disabilities, giving them a chance to have an independent home for the first time.

Brother John speaks to camera about the project and the principles underpinning the work of the Saint John of God order. An image of the new project at Coulby Newham is overlayed on a view of the grass covered site.

An image of the Coulby Newham project is followed by:

Title: Produced for the English Province of the Hospitaller Order of Siant John of God.

Credit: By Turners Film & Video Productions

Title: The Roman Catholic Hospitaller order of St John of God employs lay staff members and offers its services without any kind of racial, social, or religious discrimination.

[Note: The Order was founded in the Spanish city of Granada. Its name is the Spanish word for ‘pomegranate’ and the city uses the fruit as its symbol.]