Home Learning Disabilities & Autism Merseyside Autism Charity unveils new respite service

Merseyside Autism Charity unveils new respite service

by Joe Caretalk

Autism Together officially opens its new respite service, The Maples. From left to right: Phil Hatton, Manager of The Maples; senior staff at The Maples Ian McHugh and Carl Phillips; and Autism Together’s CEO Sue Stubbs.

North West charity Autism Together has unveiled a new short stays respite service at its Raby site in Bromborough, Wirral.

This 9-bedroom development was built to offer more flexible accommodation to suit the needs of a wide variety of people with autism, and their families.

The respite service aims to give families, parents and carers the chance to take a break from their caring role, offering between a few hours and up to 2 weeks’ support.

Formerly known as Helen House, the building has been completely redeveloped by Wirral firm North West Construction, with a redesign from Edward Architecture to Autism Together’s specifications.

Autism Together’s CEO Sue Stubbs and The Maples’ Manager Phil Hatton inside one of the respite service’s communal areas.

The building now offers a self-contained apartment, shared living areas and accommodation for those with mobility problems.

As part of the redevelopment process, Autism Together asked its staff and supported individuals to vote for the name of the new building, with ‘The Maples’ being chosen.

Work has been ongoing for much of 2020 on the project, and Autism Together’s Chief Executive Sue Stubbs this week cut the ribbon to officially open The Maples.

Sue said:

“It’s exciting to see our new respite service complete and ready to welcome people to stay.

“This service is purpose-built to cater for the support of people aged 16 and over on the autism spectrum, including those with additional care needs.

“Everyone needs a break from their caring responsibilities, and offering respite support to families and carers is a vital and important part of our services.”

View of The Maples, Autism Together’s respite service, on its Raby site in Bromborough, Wirral.

The Maples offers individuals a choice of accommodation, with a shared 5-bedroom unit, a 3-bedroom unit, alongside a single-service flat, allowing for up to nine individuals to access the service at full capacity.

Autism Together has taken into account the challenges presented by Covid-19 and guidelines around social distancing in delivering this service, and will not be running The Maples at full capacity until it is safe to do so.

To make it easier for families and carers to view the accommodation available, Autism Together worked with Hi-Impact Consultancy in Bromborough to produce a virtual walkthrough of the building, which is available to explore via the charity’s website: www.autismtogether.co.uk/respite/

The charity plans to host a more inclusive opening event for families to visit The Maples once the current pandemic is over and it is safe to do so.

The respite service will be open every day, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Autism Together, based in Bromborough, has operations across Wirral, West Cheshire and North Wales, supporting people of all ages on the autism spectrum, with around 1,000 staff providing residential, supported living and day services to over 400 individuals.

To find out more about the short stays respite service, contact Autism Together’s Admissions Team on 0151 482 3126, email: admissions@autismtogether.co.uk or visit the charity’s website: www.autismtogether.co.uk

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