Within the School grounds, we currently have 8 individually registered, purpose-built houses that make up The Children’s Homes, to meet the health and social needs of children residing with us. Houses have between 6-8 bedrooms, with children placed with other children of a similar age and generally of similar support needs. Each house is named after a significant person who played a big part in developing The Children’s Homes provision over the years, or a tribute to our local area. Please click here to see our current house names!
As well as a bedroom each for the children (all have en-suite facilities), each house have communal areas such as a kitchen, lounge/dining room, utility room and an outside area/garden. As a result, each house has a real sense of community despite developing individual personalities and interests. Children are supported by staff to cook and clean together, and discuss different activities and celebrations they can host in their houses of an evening and weekend. Every house participate in regular evening activities and trips at the weekend, whether that be a games night or a trip to the cinema! Our large site means it is perfect for walking, bike riding, Go-Karting, sports and exploring safely. Other onsite activities include ball pool, sensory rooms, craft, cookery, music and dancing, reading, film nights, discos, snooker and computer games. Children can also decide together if they would like to purchase or fundraise for a new piece of furniture or ornament for everyone to enjoy!
Children are encouraged to make their room their own when they move to St Elizabeth's to ease the transition. Perhaps a new wall colour will help to settle in, or maybe a new piece of furniture or a poster of your favourite person? Or maybe a room full of photos of family and friends. Staff will support children to settle in and help them make their room as comfortable as possible.
Family and friends can visit at any time (within sociable hours!), and can call loved ones on their mobile (if they have one) or the communal house telephone after School, weekends or in the evening. During the year, children are supported by staff to send birthday cards and presents, go Christmas shopping if they wish or attend any family events they have coming up. Thanks to our beautiful grounds, sometimes visiting families prefer to stay onsite and take a walk around the grounds with their child/family member and enjoy the local countryside and nearby pubs.
Each house has its own committed and experienced staff team who are qualified and trained to meet the needs of the particular clients they support. Thus, whilst working to the same high standards across the service, each house has its own unique character.
Many of the children are assessed as at risk of SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Epilepsy). They may have multiple seizures during the night, so we use a range of methods including a bespoke night monitoring system to alert our night staff to seizures and other incidents.
St Elizabeth's advocate that people aim to make their own decisions and choices, and have a very 'can-do' attitude towards everything. No problem is too big or too small, and want to encourage all of our service-users to feel comfortable to express themselves in a safe and caring environment. All of the children are supported to develop independence, with staff promoting a very positive attitude to any obstacle they may face.
St Elizabeth's host Family Forums four times a year for family and friends to attend. These Forums provide a platform for families to communicate things they feel have worked well, and things that need improving or just need some attention. It is also a chance to voice any concerns, or just to keep in the loop with everything that is going on within The Children’s Homes.