Run by the Elsie Normington Foundation in partnership with specialist service providers, the Haven Centre will be Scotland’s first multi-purpose centre for children and young people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex needs in Inverness. We believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to lead a rich social life, access facilities where their needs are met, make new friends and enjoy life.  


The contract to build the Haven Centre in Murray Road, Smithton, was awarded to Compass Building and Construction Services in December 2021. Construction work started on the site in March 2022, and the Haven Centre is due to open in early 2023. It is estimated the Centre will support 50 jobs during the construction phase and 30 when complete.  


The Haven Centre will include: 


  • Three two-bedroom respite flats for children and young people up to the age of 30
  • An indoor specialist play centre and outdoor play area
  • A community café
  • A community garden
  • Meeting spaces

The Haven Centre will provide an inclusive, community space, where children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and complex needs opportunities to have fun, play, socialise, grow in confidence, and develop; where outcomes are improved through training, work experience and education; and where families can connect and feel supported.

Existing day services and overnight respite care in the Highlands and Islands are overstretched and oversubscribed. The Haven Centre will help meet the ever-growing need and demand from children, young adults and their families by providing multiple, affordable, accessible services on one integrated site, including much needed respite. Currently the nearest facility of its kind is in Dundee.