More than thirty years ago prospects for someone with an intellectual disability were limited. Some people were fortunate enough to be cared for at home, but parents were anxious about their future.
Lydia Cochran and Dorothy Blake had a dream that people with what was then called ‘mental handicap’ could live more fulfilled lives in a smaller facility, a family-type home. They would be part of the community, their confidence and social skills would grow and they could go out to work like everybody else.
Mrs. Cochran and Miss Blake understood parents’ and families’ dilemmas. Gordon Cochran was a beloved son, and Eileen Blake was a precious sister. The two ladies set to work to turn the dream into a reality. Using their networks of friends and church connections they gathered a team around them. They met with representatives of the (then) Eastern Health Board and with Social Work advisors. They held public meetings. They started fundraising, and they with their committee prayed that God would guide them in the challenge they had undertaken.
Mrs. Cochran suggested the name, Peacehaven, which is based on the book of Isaiah, chapter 32, verses 17 and 18, where God says: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence for ever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling-places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”