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Lodges to offer respite care for autistic adults
5:04pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
FARMYARD lodges which will provide respite services for autistic adults have been officially opened.
The North East Autism Society today (FRI) unveiled two new lodges at their New Warlands Farm site at Holmside, near Edmondsley.
The charity worked with Durham County Council to open the lodges, both fully equipped to provide short holiday accommodation, in a quiet farmyard setting, for adults aged 16 and over who need respite care.
The lodges have a total of seven bedrooms, where specialist respite care is available throughout the year to prevent family breakdown and give families and individuals with autism a break.
One of the lodges is also fitted with a ceiling track hoist to make the service accessible for people with physical disabilities. There are also plans to provide nature trails and other outdoor activities on the site.
Development on the 77-acre site started at the beginning of this year with the lodges being completed in September and initial responses from the families being very positive.
John Phillipson, chief executive of the North East Autism Society, was joined by Coun Morris Nicholls cabinet member at Durham County Council, to perform the official opening.
Mr Phillipson said: "It’s an exciting time for us at NEAS, the new short breaks services will help fulfil a desperate need.
"People with autism need a break from their daily routines like the rest of us. Their families also often need a break from the daily pressures of caring."
He added: "Adults on the autism spectrum may need very specialised support if they are going to enjoy and benefit from their holiday. This service combines a fantastic location with highly specialised staff at hand".
The lodges are located near the New Warlands Farm Training Centre opened in 2011, which provides practical hands-on learning and work experience for adults with autism.
The £1.7m agricultural centre was recognised in June this year for improving the training facilities on offer to adults with autism, learning difficulties and other disabilities in County Durham.
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