Spring Appeal

Home away from home

Residential accommodation is critical to National Star students. A ‘home away from home’ it is also a place where they can develop daily living skills, make friends and have choice and control over their lives. Ultimately, living in one of our student residences prepares learners for experiencing life as independently as possible. This is what being at National Star is all about.

As our residential services play such a huge role in their lives, it’s crucial that we are able to continue to provide the most modern and up-to-date facilities to support them.

No longer fit for purpose

Elizabeth House in Gloucester opened in 2001. Back then, students had less complex needs than they do now. Over time, the building has become more and more unsuitable. 

The residence has narrow doorways and corridors, making it difficult for students to navigate around their home. Elizabeth House is also spread over four floors with only two small lifts. It can take a long time for students to get to where they want to go – time that could be better spent developing life skills, socialising and relaxing.

Many of the bedrooms are quite small, making it difficult to fit essential items, such as large wheelchairs and physiotherapy equipment, inside. Few bedrooms are ensuite, posing dignity and privacy issues, with students having to use shared bathrooms. 

Frustratingly, Elizabeth House is a 30-minute drive from Ullenwood. When you have complex medical needs, spending an hour a day on a minibus can be uncomfortable and not a good use of time. While students are with us at National Star, their time is precious.

Help us build a brighter future for students

Our plans are to build new specialist accommodation that meets all of the needs of the young people who depend on our education and therapeutic services. It will mirror the spacious, well-equipped and homely environment at Bradbury Gardens in Cheltenham, which opened in 2015.

The new accommodation will be at Ullenwood so that those with very high levels of support due to their complex disabilities can easily access all of our specialist support teams and resources.

It will offer twelve comfortable ensuite bedrooms with overhead tracking hoists, wide corridors that can easily accommodate large electric wheelchairs, welcoming social spaces, accessible kitchens, indoor sensory spaces to support those with autism and behaviours that challenge and calming and safe landscaped gardens.

We want all National Star students to experience a brighter future by maximising the learning opportunities that a modern student residence provides. Support our Building a Brighter Future Appeal.

Thank you for your support.

Lynette Barrett
Chief Operations Officer

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