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A new support centre opens this week in Worksop offering respite services for autistic adults.

The Autism East Midlands’ development provides people with specialist support, whilst also providing their families and carers with the chance to take a break from their caring role for a few days or a few weeks.

The centre, known as Whitegates, has undergone a major £1million transformation and has been carefully designed to meet the specific needs of autistic individuals and their families. Autism affects how someone communicates and interacts with the world and for some that may mean they need a bit of extra support in a specialist environment.

Whitegates has six self-contained apartments, where specialist autism-focused and one-to-one support is provided. It is also able to provide specialist short-term accommodation for autistic individuals who need urgent care. 

“It’s great to be able to welcome our first service users,” said Kelly Carrington, manager of Whitegates.

“We have everything in place to provide the best support that individuals and their families may need. It will give people a break from their routine and ease the pressure on families. And the setting is just beautiful. The people who stay with us don’t need to travel far and can enjoy the local area if they so wish. They can simply enjoy their apartments, the gardens and a change of scene. They’re also able to take part in other community-based activities that are planned to meet each individual’s needs and preferences.”

People staying at Whitegates will have their own apartment, complete with lounge area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom to enable them to remain independent. They’re also able to access the extensive private grounds and shared outdoor gym.

Whitegates is within walking distance of Worksop town centre and is a five-minute drive from the National Trust’s Clumber Park. Just a short walk away is The Dukeries Centre, an autism specific day service which is also run by Autism East Midlands. The Dukeries offers structured activities based on individual requirements as well as community-based activities.