At Wadelow Grange we have long recognised the value of extended learning programmes which give our clients opportunities to engage in constructive activities and acquire social confidence. From the spring of 2014 we are re-aligning our services to provide additional resources for all clients residing on site or attending for Education, Day Care or Short Breaks.
The Garden Room is our main educational resource and provides a setting in which staff can work intensively with students to help them achieve optimal levels of communication, and complete specific courses in literacy, ICT and skills for independence. It also provides an environment in which students can learn to work co-operatively with each other and develop important social skills. The staff team includes a qualified teacher with long experience of working in the field of special education, and who is familiar with diverse presentations of learning disability and Autistic Spectrum Conditions.
In the Autumn of 2013 we began to include our Supported Living training house in Bedford as part of the weekly routine for clients; and we now plan to increase therapeutic and educational input on our existing site.
We are at the design stage of converting a large stand-alone office room into a dedicated Art Studio, which will include some use of ICT for sourcing ideas and techniques. This facility will initially be supported on a part-time basis by an experienced Art Tutor, who has worked in Special Needs Education, and has spent the last five years developing services at a large Specialist Independent Hospital for individuals on the Autistic Spectrum.
Those attending the Art Studio will have regular structured sessions with their Tutor using a wide range of materials and techniques, aimed at developing their core skills, with enrichment activities such as visits to Museums and Galleries, or outdoor based activities and Workshops. Our Tutor has completed a Foundation Course in Art Psychotherapy, and plans to undertake the MA qualification in 2014.
The Woodland House building will have some accommodation converted to classrooms, and clients will be able to use the Kitchen and other areas for developing domestic skills through learning programmes that address their individual needs. We are planning some small scale Enterprise schemes, such as preparing vegetarian meals from the produce grown in our garden.
There is accommodation available for students in The Bungalow; which is a service for four adults, within the grounds of Wadelow Grange. The National Autistic Society provided guidance on the interior design of the building, and there is a large garden which offers a safe space for residents to enjoy. All the accommodation is at Ground Floor level, and the shared lounge and kitchen are spacious, which enables our residents to share activities of daily living and social activities if they wish to do so.
The horticulture area on site offers clients the opportunities to become engaged in growing food and caring for our livestock; and we are planning other Enterprise schemes such as a small Plant Nursery and vegetables grown in a Polytunnel.
Our staff are trained in various forms of augmented communication, including PECS and Makaton, as we recognise that being able to communicate effectively with our clients is the key to building trusting relationships and relational security. We believe that working in partnership with our clients, their families, and their relevant professional teams is the key to achieving successful outcomes. Due to the advantages of our location and the level of staff presence on the campus we are able to consider working with clients who require a flexible and tolerant service that can assist them in making a safe and sustainable transition to community based services.
We have a range of vehicles available to meet the transport needs of our residents, and make every effort to keep them involved in their preferred activities in the community. The existing client group attends sporting, leisure and social activities throughout the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes areas; with group and individual outings arranged as appropriate.
For further information please contact:
Dave Murts – Head of Education
Tel: 07714 756547
Gareth Hancock – Nurse Specialist
Tel: 07769 217709