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Foundations for the future

StarNews photo - students Hannah and Chelsea smiling with Speller Metcalfe builders

Construction work has started on the building of our new specialist residential accommodation at Ullenwood. National Star student Hannah (pictured above) marked the occasion by laying the first brick.

The good weather over the summer worked to the advantage of contractors Speller Metcalfe, who are on schedule to complete the work by summer 2023, ready for new students to move into the facility in September 2023.

Specialist accommodation

The specialist accommodation will fully meet the needs of young people with disabilities who have complex needs. Its facilities include 12 ensuite bedrooms and a self–contained assessment suite with overhead tracking hoists, wide corridors that can easily accommodate large electric wheelchairs, accessible kitchens, indoor sensory spaces and calming and safe landscaped gardens.


Sustainability has also played a key role in the development of the accommodation, and it features a sedum roof, energy efficient heating, solar panels to generate electricity and a means to harvest rainwater for irrigation of the area around the site. In addition, sensitive lighting will be installed to protect roosting and visiting bats, and small gaps in fences, walls and boundaries will enable hedgehogs safe passage across the area.

Raising funds

Thanks to the incredible support of trusts, organisations and individuals, we now need to raise the final £1.5 million towards this
£6 million development. So far, thanks to your efforts and the generosity of various trusts and foundations, we have raised £920,000 towards this target.

Students, staff and residents have enjoyed seeing progress on–site thanks to a perfectly situated viewing gallery in the upper car park of the Ullenwood campus. Student Union President Chelsea officially opened the gallery to visitors and is a regular visitor to the viewing gallery, keen to keep up–to–date with progress.

Students have been fully consulted on the interior design features of the new accommodation, choosing the colour palette for soft furnishings and communal areas.

Supporter tours have also been well supported since they were launched in September with attendees appreciating the behind the scenes tour of the charity.

Barbara and Ian, regular diners at StarBistro, joined one of our recent tours. They said: ‘We would like to wholeheartedly thank all those involved with the National Star tour. We both had an informative and eye–opening afternoon. We could not have imagined the tireless work involved by the staff and the amazing facilities provided for the students.’

Discover more about our Building a Brighter Future Appeal and how you can support us with a donation.

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