Opened in 1994 by Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, the Ravenshead site was originally part of Sutherland House School. The site also housed the Elizabeth Newson Diagnostic Centre. When the School relocated to a new location in Nottingham, this provided Autism East Midlands with an opportunity to create a respite and holiday lets service specifically designed to support autistic individuals and their families. Transformative work began to create a modern, safe and relaxing environment.
Extensive work went into the building project to ensure that the facility is autism friendly, even the decibel level of sound that can be heard through walls was tested and controlled so that individuals with sensory issues staying in their particular accommodation can relax in the calm environment.
The picturesque setting overlooks a wonderful wooded area to the rear and the location is still within a short distance to some of the region’s most beautiful locations such as Newstead Abbey, Sherwood Forest, and a collection of country parks. The new service is only a short fifteen minute journey into the centre of Nottingham.
The site is made up of three separate units, two for respite accommodation and one holiday let. All three come with their own sensory rooms and private outdoor space, as well as spacious bedrooms, kitchens and lounge areas. Support in the respite accommodation is provided by Autism East Midlands staff, who are on site 24/7 to provide support to help individual’s develop their independent living skills.
“Building work started on Ravenshead Respite in February of 2018 so it is fantastic to be able to show off the finished product of a lot of people’s hard work. Throughout this time we have listened closely to what families, people we support and local authority partners have told us that they want and we can’t wait for people to start using the service.” Will Burchell, Director of Development at Autism East Midlands.