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Bridge House

'Bridge the Gap’ with a residence in Bridge House.

It is often at the point of transition that young people with complex needs find it most difficult to find specialist support they need to take the next step to a ‘supported’ or ‘mutual living’ placement. The completion of our new ‘Bridging the Gap’ independence apartments means we can now provide the opportunity to deliver integrated packages that support young people to attain the skills to access the ‘supported living model’. Held by local authorities to be the most attractive ongoing destination for people with learning difficulties and disabilities including Autism.

Each apartment is new and finished to a high standard with integrated kitchen diner / lounge, bathroom and bedrooms. They are bright, modern and airy with the front door opening onto a shared landing that also gives on to a staff office/sleep in room and bathroom. This means that staff are never far away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the duration of the placement.

The Bridging the gap service is not a long term residential accommodation option attached to a learning programme; it is an integrated learning experience where the aims of the learning programme are reinforced and supported by specifically trained staff at all times. Highly individualised bespoke solutions with dedicated staff teams - the service can meet the needs of many of those who cannot currently access local provision. For young people with complex social, and severe learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders, it promotes realistic, practical and effective learning in a supported living environment where every day domestic activities provide the context for acquiring new skills.

The programmes are for six or 12 months, with young people living in their own supported apartment. We operate a carefully planned pathway for each person, first and foremost we make sure we develop their expressive communication to support the choice and decision-making capacity needed to live in a supported living context. Staying safe and safe interactions form a significant element of the ‘learning through doing’ practical approach used to deliver development. People are supported on a 1:1 basis and gain the skills to look after themselves - this could be something as simple as looking after their own belonging and developing an awareness of what it means to live with others, or as complicated as organizing their own activities and leisure time, taking responsibility for their own interactions and behaviour.

‘Bridging the Gap’ also responds to the multiple requirements demanded by supported living placements by ‘hot housing’ those mobility and transference skills that allow young people with complex needs to make the most of the accommodation and local community in which they live. For some supported living will not be appropriate, this is identified early in the placement and the emphasis will switch to alternative mutual living or residential living models, but before entering the programme an assessment process will deliver an indication of probable outcome.

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