Living here

Information for young people about coming here

You’ll have a bedroom of your own with an en-suite bathroom. It is a light and airy room and you are encouraged to personalise it with your own pictures and posters.

Atkinson bedrooms and living spaces are in two zones – one called Brentor and one called Haytor – providing a homely environment for no more than six young people in each. In Brentor and Haytor there is the ability to make secure telephone or Skype calls (subject to your care plan), and they are approved and regulated by Ofsted.

You’ll meet lots of staff on the unit who support and help to care for you.

Our Atkinson home offers a wide range of facilities including:

  • Atkinson School, with updated classrooms and a professional kitchen
  • Large garden with poly tunnel and chickens
  • Outdoor seated area for education and social purposes (new 2016)
  • Multi-purpose activities track (new 2016)
  • Self contained living environment (high dependency) which includes a lounge, bedroom and garden (new 2016)
  • Two new lounges and life skill areas (new 2016)
  • Dedicated kitchen for day-to-day cooking and laundry workshops
  • Outdoor multi-purpose astro pitch and play area
  • Fully equipped outdoor workshop
  • Music room and range of instruments (instructors available)
  • Full-sized gymnasium and cardio gym
  • Indoor sports hall
  • Fitness room (cross trainer, running machine, rowing machine)

Young people can participate in a wide variety of sports and leisure activities within the Home, including climbing, gardening, football, cooking, arts and crafts, husbandry courses, equine and poultry care, football, basketball and table tennis.

The manager and staff promote positive experiences, comfort and choice for young people who live in at Atkinson. Structured activities provide young people the opportunity to explore and develop new talents and skills. These include weekly sessions with the music man whereby young people are encouraged to write their own music, mix tunes and sing. Planned activities include smoothie making, listening to favourite music, playing electronic games machines, quiz nights, beauty sessions and a range of outdoor activities. In the last Osfted report, young people mentioned that they have enough to do to keep them busy and entertained.

Attention to the environment has had significant improvements and young people live in a welcoming and comfortable home. Consultation with young people has enabled them to be actively involved in selecting colour schemes, replacement carpets and art work. In addition, funding has been secured for significant improvements to the home in areas such as an outside play area. The young people were actively consulted in the development of these plans.

Facilities and activities

We recognise that each young person we care for is a unique individual with complex needs. Our dedicated staff team work in partnership with local authorities to meet these needs through individualised placement plans, created at child-friendly planning meetings.

An educational assessment on admission allows for a bespoke education package to be developed for each young person. High teacher pupil ratios allow for increased support for individuals who struggle in a classroom setting.

Our health care team consists of a nurse, psychologist, community psychiatric nurse (CPN) and substance misuse workers. And a visiting dentist and optician supplement the health care services offered.

Encouraging young people to develop healthy lifestyles is paramount to improving a young person’s general health and wellbeing. Our Atkinson home develops these lifestyles by encouraging young people to eat healthily, exercise regularly and to increase their knowledge on sexual health and substance misuse.

Atkinson seeks to develop young people’s emotional, intellectual, social, creative and physical skills by creating a stimulating environment. Young people are encouraged to pursue individual interests and hobbies.

Outside Atkinson

For those young people who have ‘mobility’ (which requires social worker approval and risk assessment) they can explore and pursue activities outside Atkinson. These include surfing, kayaking, climbing, fishing, cinema, shopping and educational trips to art galleries, the zoo and museums.

Leaving Atkinson – resettlement and transition

The Resettlement Officer works closely with placing authorities to identify which placement will be suitable as a future placement for the young person. Within this process the young person has the opportunity to express his/her views and opinions as to what kind of placement he/she would like to go to. The Resettlement Officer helps prepare the young person for independent living.