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The Orchards

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The Orchards exterior 1

The Orchards is a Residential Care Home in Essex for Adults with a Learning Disability

The Orchards is a residential care home, located in Thorrington, Essex. The service can support up to 5 men who are living with a learning disability. The service can also support people who may have complex needs and whose behaviours may be perceived as challenging.

People come to The Orchards for many reasons. They may be moving on following a stay at an NHS or other specialist learning disability service or may need more support than can be offered in supported living. They may also require a little extra support during a difficult period in their life, or be on a pathway towards At The Orchards we believe that everyone should be treated as a full and valued member of their community with the same rights as everyone else.

At The Orchards we enable people to structure their time; build relationships and establish a balance between therapy, selfcare, work and leisure as appropriate to their individual needs. Community based activities give people opportunities to meet others, experience new activities, participate in leisure activities and practice social skills. Activities depend on individual preferences and can include a variety of community based and educational choices.

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About The Orchards

The Orchards - About The Orchards

Danshell Logo small3The Orchards is a detached property on a quiet residential street, in Thorrington, a small village between Colchester and Clacton.

The village of Thorrington boasts a pub and a café along with a village shop and post office. Nearby there are plenty of community facilities for people to access including, shops, colleges, swimming pools and a local park which has a pretty waterside setting.

Everyone has their own bedroom and they are encouraged to personalise and decorate it as they wish. The Orchards has a large living space and well equipped kitchen-dining areas for people to use. The kitchen-diner is the hub of the house where service users are encouraged to help prepare food and drinks for themselves and visitors. Developing selfcare and daily living skills is a very important part of life at The Orchards.

Externally there is a large, well-maintained garden, which the service users use for playing sports such as badminton and cricket. The garden also has a seating area for relaxing or hosting barbeque’s.

Family Matters

The Orchards - Family Matters

Family mealAt The Orchards we know that the people we serve are part of a wider circle of family, friends and networks that are important to them and therefore, important to us. We work in partnership with them to ensure we provide the right service for their relative but also to support them in their own right as a family carer. Family carers and important others are encouraged to develop good contact arrangements with staff at The Orchards. We look forward to receiving visitors and updates are also welcomed from family carers and friends either by email, phone or Skype.

The Danshell Family Carer Forum is run independently by a group of family carers and there are representatives from every region of the UK. The forum facilitates family carers to ask questions, discuss worries and support one another. The forum produces a quarterly newsletter which helps families share experiences as well as keeping people up to date with benefit information, legislative changes and relevant Danshell developments.

Personal Activities Plan

The Orchards - Personal Activities Plan

activies personalService users are supported in their choice of activities. These are identified through speaking individually with them, with their key support teams and through regular house meetings. Service users are aware that the staff are approachable and will listen to any activity ideas and requests they put forward.

Planners are made up weekly, however some service users prefer to have their planners on a daily basis. At The Orchards we use various formats to communicate the planners e.g. pictures and words. These are all individual to meet with the requirements of each service user. Information can be provided in Easy Read format to ensure service users are given information in a way that is more accessible to them. We strive to give service users activities of their choice. We have a good rapport with other services in the community and we always have plenty to do!

Some of the more popular activities that the service users enjoy are, swimming, attending college, and volunteering at a local community garden tending to the flowers and keeping the gardens tidy and litter free.

Positive Behaviour Support

The Orchards - Positive Behaviour Support

Many of the people we serve at The Orchards have behaviours that challenge services. We believe that we have to make a long term commitment to providing the right support for each individual to improve their quality of life. This does not mean that people need to remain in the same place but rather we continue to support them in a person centred way along their care pathway and ensure that what we learn about the person and the best way to work with them, is respected, applied and built on. Importantly, our way of working supports people to be included in their own communities and promotes choice and control, the development of skills and alternative strategies for coping with challenging situations.

To enable this to happen we implement a range of interventions including:

  • Functional Assessment of Behaviour.
  • Personal Positive Behavioural Support Plans.
  • Individualised activity and skill acquisition programmes.
  • Education and employment opportunities.
  • Specialist assessments of need and risk e.g. HCR-20.
A Safe Place To Be

The Orchards - A Safe Place To Be

Safe PlaceOur organisation is committed to delivering care and support in a safe, dignified and respectful manner. We have an extensive governance system called ‘Safe, Sound and Supportive’ that monitors individual and organisational performance against a range of safety and outcome indicators.

Using electronic reporting systems we are able to monitor and act swiftly in response to incidents or untoward events. Our systems and structures provide what we believe to be a ‘gold standard’ approach to securing service user safety.

Across all services there is an independent and confidential whistle blowing policy and service for all staff to use if they are worried about service user safety, care and wellbeing.

Service User Involvement

The Orchards - Service User Involvement

Thinking plan

We encourage people to say how they feel about all aspects of the service they receive and we give them the tools and support to do this. This includes their views about how we deliver support to them, their care plans and the activities they want to do. At The Orchards we support people to be a part of the service user forum. Here, they can tell us what matters to them and their points and actions are noted. This is then fed back to the manager to act on and feedback given to the group. We also support people to attend the regular regional service user forums which are a great way to meet new people from other services and exchange ideas.

A number of service users have been trained as Experts by Experience or Quality Checkers. Their role is part of the Quality Development Review Team who inspects services to make sure they are good. We also train and support people to be a valued member of the recruitment and interview process in many of our services. We have devised policies, communication and measuring tools to enable this to happen across all of our services. Feedback from the people we serve is vital to making sure we are doing things well. We have post CPA and service user exit questionnaires which are used to support people to do that. Adapted questionnaires are used for people who need support in communication and that way we can be sure all voices are heard and acted upon. All feedback is collated and fed back to the Board.

The advocacy group working at The Orchards is called Voiceability and everyone we serve has access to an independent advocate.

Danshell is committed to developing services that reflect what the people who use our services and their families tell us is important. This includes ensuring they, their family and carers are fully involved in processes such as the Care Programme Approach (CPA) and in evaluating the service we provide.

Staff Support

The Orchards - Staff Support

A Support health gpThe Orchards is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The team is made up of a service manager, senior support workers, support workers and other ancillary staff. Staff are trained to meet a range of health and social care needs and to support people using the values of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS).

We are committed to the learning and development of our staff as stated in our Quality Strategy and Personal PATHS model of care. We have also created a Training and Development Strategy which reflects the importance of increasing people’s confidence, knowledge and expertise.

The Orchards Residential Service

Station Road
phone-easyread 01206 250 676


Manager: Agnes Flynn
mail 25x25 



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