I honestly believe we have found an ideal place for our son to grow and thrive. Somewhere he is accepted and valued.
Willow Barn is a Day Centre for people with Learning Disabilities and specialised support needs, including Autistic Spectrum Conditions, which was established to the rear of our Abelands site near Chichester in July 2017.

The Service was developed by PA Ark Projects Ltd in partnership with West Sussex County Council. It seeks to offer meaningful occupational opportunities to individuals that are not comfortable engaging in conventional or heavily structured social care settings.

Willow Barn works with individuals that have a unique range of qualities and support needs. With this in mind, the service that is provided needs to be bespoke, flexible and highly person-centred.

There is an understanding at the heart of Willow Barn that we all, as human beings are constantly learning about ourselves and others.
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Supporting the Individual but also their Family

In order to fully support the individual we must also work to support their family and home life.

It is important that good lines of communication exist between the service, the individual and their family. Understanding the entire picture will inform our approach and allow us to work holistically with each individual. This means that the team should look beyond the individuals experience while at Willow Barn, considering areas such as:

• What has happened at home
• Transitions between home and the service
• Changes that may affect wellbeing (weather, health, routine)
• How the individual engages with activities
• Communication and expectations

Everyone has a role to play

The team approach should be inclusive of:

• The individual
• Their families
• Their support team
• Health and social care professionals
• People responsible for transporting the individual (taxi drivers)

Free-Flow Activity Approach

Activities should be designed so that individuals are given opportunities to engage in and explore activities that they enjoy on their own terms and at their own pace. Staff should be proactive and assertive but also empower individuals to withdraw if they are finding things too much.

Learning, adapting and supporting consistently

Succeed as a team, support as a team, learn as a team. There will be times when it doesn’t go to plan. Sometimes things will be outside of our control. What is important is that the team works with each other to deliver support consistently, learns from both success and failure and adapts the approach in a considered and informed way