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Living here

Information for young people about coming here

You will have a bedroom of your own with an ensuite 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 in the home who will support and help to care for you.

Atkinson offers a wide range of facilities including:

  • Atkinson School, with updated classrooms and a professional kitchen
  • Large garden with polytunnel and chickens
  • Outdoor seated area for education and social purposes
  • Multi-purpose activities track
  • Outdoor play park
  • Self-contained living environment (high dependency) which includes a lounge, bedroom and garden
  • Two new lounges and life skill areas
  • 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)
  • Interactive TV, film and music system in all bedrooms
  • Internal and external music speakers
  • In-built telephone in bedrooms
  • Full-sized gymnasium and cardio gym
  • Indoor sports hall
  • Fitness room (cross trainer, running machine, rowing machine)
  • Sensory room

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.

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 artwork.

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.

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 case co-ordinator 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 case co-ordinator and key worker helps prepare the young person for independent living.