Our home from home

National Star’s new £6 million specialist accommodation has opened its doors and welcomed 12 students to their new home from home.

Rachel and Jack touring the new facility with staff member Maizie

The facility is based on–site at Ullenwood and is split into two adjoining residences – Scott House and Bradbury House – and includes The Ingram Discovery Rooms, an independence and assessment suite. The building replaces Elizabeth House, our former student residence in Gloucester, which became unsuitable for many of the young people National Star supports. The building project was made possible thanks to the generosity of individuals, businesses, trusts and foundations.

The new residence provides spacious ensuite bedrooms fitted with overhead tracking hoists, wide corridors that can accommodate large electric wheelchairs, fully accessible kitchens and relaxing landscaped gardens. There are also sensory and break–out spaces to support those with autism, sensory processing disorders and behavioural challenges. The Ingram Discovery Rooms is a space to assess the support their learning and development.

I’m loving it. My bedroom is huge, much bigger than the one I had at Lizzy.

Frances, who uses a power wheelchair, agreed that the residence is more accessible, and shared that because her bedroom door opens automatically with the press of a button, she can go in without needing to ask for support. This added independence was not an option at Elizabeth House.
Olivia praised the benefits of living on–site at Ullenwood, indicating that she now spends less time travelling to and from her classes and therapies.

‘I get a lie–in in the mornings,’ said Olivia. ‘There’s a disco here on Friday nights, too.’