The support we offer
The residents who live at The Lodge Trust are supported to reflect their individual needs to ensure rights, independence, choices and inclusion are part of everyday life. We work with each resident to help them develop Person Centred Plans, Health Action Plans and Communication Passports, which are reviewed at least once each year. Key Workers in the houses and Link Workers in Work and Education Services ensure that all the plans are tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Everyone is encouraged to participate in regular house meetings, resident forums and other joint meetings of the residents and staff. Regular contact with families and friends is actively encouraged in a number of ways, including our popular Families’ and Friends’ Day.
Residents are supported in regular activities including church attendance; keep-fit sessions; Gateway Award activities; local clubs and many other opportunities both within our extensive grounds as well as in the local community and further afield. Annual holidays are arranged either within each house group or other interest groups. A number of our residents have been involved over the years with the County Council's Disability Partnership Board.
We have a procedure to follow if you (or someone you know) wishes to complain; however, our open and honest culture will hopefully deal with most problems before the need arises for a formal complaint.
Why we do it
Underpinning everything that we do is our belief that each of us is unique, fearfully and wonderfully made by God, who loves us. It is our joy to support people to grow to be like Jesus and to be role models at work, rest and play.
God has made us capable of relating with others and people tell us they feel isolated for much of their time in the wider community. Jesus said the second greatest command was to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. One of the great advantages of living together with others is the sense of belonging, helping each other and making a difference together. People like to be together as well as to have their own space. Solomon reminds us, “As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp.” Our community offers companionship and support.
In addition, Christian support offers safety. If a resident is anxious about anything there are always people to talk and pray with. We guide them in good paths and are constantly on guard to protect them from danger and abuse. We believe our residents are safer with many staff sharing their lives in a community where Christ is central and behaviour seeks to bring praise to God.
We are passionate about helping society at large to see that people can choose to have a faith and choose to be supported in developing that faith. Furthermore, local communities and churches can be equipped to help and support people with learning disabilities.
What families have to say about us
Our son, has lived at the Lodge for the last 15 years, since he was 20. Before that he lived in a house in the community which he shared with 3 young women. He was quite happy there to start with, but soon became really bored. He was at College during term time, but during the holidays there was nothing to do. Since he has been at the Lodge he has been back to his old happy self. Life is full of fun, friends, work he enjoys all within a Christian context. He loves it! This is his home, where he belongs, is known and is cared for. He has many friends around his own age, they go on holiday together, go to Church, go shopping, work and relax together. He loves working, feeling he is useful. He works in the kitchen, the grounds and loves working in the Cafe clearing tables and washing up. He enjoys being part of a team. Before The Lodge his life was narrow with few friends. Now his life is full and enjoyable with many friends and work mates. He loves his life at the Lodge and would be very unhappy if removed from a place where he feels so fulfilled. My husband and I are able to be at peace knowing that he is well cared for and well loved by friends and members of staff. Without The Lodge, his life and our own would be much the poorer. We are so very grateful to so many staff members who have taken him to their hearts and enriched his life.
W first attended as a day service user during his college holidays and quickly settled in, saying, ‘I'm BACK!’ when he returned. He became a full-time resident on his 19th and we have been delighted by how he quickly became part of the community and has continued to develop into a sociable and happier young man. We were thrilled he was offered a place and felt God’s hand at work in bringing this about. Managing his placements as he had gone through the schooling system had been difficult but we felt for the first time that doors were opening without our needing to bang on them!
The Lodge offers clear structure and a meaningful life for W - both in what he does within it, the local community and also the Christian ethos that underlies everything. There is a special atmosphere to the place that everyone we've taken there has remarked upon. This is maintained by a dedicated management team and staff who I always feel have the best interests of the residents as their priority. The residents, and their families, are treated with respect and this is very reassuring when one has a very vulnerable family member for whom you want an independent, Christian and fulfilling life.
Four years on, W considers The Lodge as Home and is anxious to return whenever he is back with us - the tables have turned! Years ago when W was a challenge and I was attending a 'Behaviour and Stress Management' course (his behaviour, my stress!) - We were asked to draw what we wanted ultimately for our child. We were put on the spot, but I drew a picture of W standing outside his own house with a group of friends waving at me... It’s come true at The Lodge!
The Lodge Trust is very important to me and J in so many ways. We had visited lots of other places before coming to The Lodge and J had displayed ‘his worst side’ in his behaviour as we walked around and I knew he wasn’t happy. When we came to visit The Lodge he was completely different, very relaxed and at home. It was like visiting your favourite relative where you could relax, take time and not feel rushed to leave. I suppose the easiest way to describe it is that I immediately wanted a place there myself. If I could feel so relaxed as to imagine it being my home then I knew J would be happy too.
J has a high level of needs compared to many of the residents, but staff are able to identify his strengths and make his contributions feel important. In fact the overriding ethos of the place is that everyone has an important role to play and no matter how small that role is, the day can’t function without each other’s input. There are no labels of ‘ability’ or ‘disability’; everyone is a unique individual with their place to play in the functioning of The Lodge.
The Christian ethos of The Lodge is, in my opinion, outstanding. I have not been able to find anywhere else that mirrors such a foundation.
J has always been the 'driving force' behind church commitment at home and on days when I might have been tempted to turn off the alarm clock J has been adamant that we go!
I have never felt that he has been pushed or coerced into believing in God and this has been proven since moving to The Lodge as he is always keen to go along and attend the prayer meetings and services.
His faith may be at a very simple level, but there is no doubting that he has a faith and staff are able to nurture and encourage this. J’s caring nature and concern for others has become the cornerstone of his personality through hearing the stories of Jesus.
It is hard to describe how easy it is to become embraced in the family feel that surrounds The Lodge, but during a recent visit to see J on his birthday I had the privilege of taking him and his friend out for lunch (with a member of staff!). It was brilliant and I had such an amazing time that it felt like a true family occasion.
Most days I thank God for the Lodge Trust. JP, who has severe learning disabilities, has a home where his every need is well catered for. His ability to do simple tasks has amazed me. He is extremely happy, and has a great relationship with all the other residents, and especially with the staff. I am free to have him home whenever JP wants, but he is always happy on going back. The greatest blessing to me and my family is that JP lives in a home where Jesus is loved, God’s word is read and held in high esteem. They operate on Bible principles, the residents work until they retire, and they all worship God together in the home and at church on Sundays. If you visit the lodge on any day you will always leave feeling you have been blessed, residents and staff alike are always happy and it is infectious. The Lodge Trust is truly... UNIQUE!