Every Little Step towards community living

At St Andrew’s Healthcare we are committed to supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to live a meaningful life in the community.

For those people who are in our care, we offer a range of opportunities to support them with every little step of their recovery journey towards community living.

On top of the below opportunities, we work with the people in our care to ensure they are well-prepared to live independently within the community, once they are ready to move on from secure care.

This support includes preparing people to accomplish tasks such cooking, laundry, managing a weekly budget and cleaning.

Sports and Exercise Therapy

Exercise is known as one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health, as it relieves stress and boosts your mood.

Here at St Andrew’s we offer a range of sports and exercise activities, including dance, swimming, team games, racket sports, exercise to music and outdoor pursuits such as climbing and kayaking. Our dedicated staff can offer one to one coaching, and provide personal fitness programmes and training sessions.

Many of our wards and buildings have their own dedicated sports facilities; William Wake House, for example, includes both a swimming pool and gym.

Becoming ‘work ready’

Work, whether paid or voluntary, is very important to our mental health and wellbeing. It can offer a way of structuring your time, physical and mental activity and a sense of identity and personal achievement.

In addition, it can be very enjoyable and a chance to meet new people and make friends.

At St Andrew’s Healthcare, we offer various vocational opportunities for the people in our care to learn and develop work and life skills, in a fully supportive environment.

All patients, whatever their skills or level of leave, can get involved with craft, textiles and woodwork.

Light and heavy industry

Within William Wake House we have a light industry workshop, where the people in our care can learn how to create beautifully crafted items. Patients can learn candle making, block printing and light woodwork activities using a range of tools and machinery.

As patients’ confidence increases, they can move on to our adjacent heavy industry workshop. It is a great place for people to learn wood turning skills, chisel work and lathe finishing work using a variety of specialist tools and machinery. Heavy industry is a fully-equipped industrial workshop, and our dedicated staff help people grow their independence and levels of responsibility.

Workshop sessions take place daily.

Vocational opportunities at Workbridge

Patients who have ground leave and people in the local community can come together at Workbridge, our vocational centre, to develop their life and work skills in a public facing environment.

The philosophy behind Workbridge is to provide people with an opportunity to work as part of a team in a genuine work environment, which includes a coffee shop, kitchens, workshops and garden centre. Each week around 250 people access Workbridge to build upon their work and life skills.

All of the activities carried out by our service users at Workbridge are meaningful and essential to the running of Workbridge. Service users are mentored by skilled staff across a variety of work activities to encourage independence, respect, teamwork and trust; building skills, knowledge and self-esteem in a supportive environment.

As service users progress, the Workbridge team can support people in looking for jobs, completing applications and preparing for and attending interviews.

Arts @ St Andrew’s

Our Arts team aim to engage our patients in life-enhancing and therapeutic experiences in the arts to increase their overall health and wellbeing.

Made up of skilled creative specialists who offer a range of arts activities to patients across the charity, the Arts team work with individuals and groups both on the wards, and in our fully-equipped studio settings.

By working closely with the healthcare professions, the Arts team offer holistic and tailored opportunities for therapeutic engagement and personal development. The Arts can complement other forms of treatment by offering patients new experiences, building their confidence and developing transferable life skills, helping people to lead full and active lives in the community.

Our regular one-to-one or group activities include media, photography, graphic design, crafts, fine arts, music production, vocals, dance and drama workshops, music gigs, and awards and exhibitions.

Click here to read how a person in our care used musical activities to prepare for life in the community

Arts activity calendar

The Arts @ St Andrew’s team have an active events programme - upcoming activities include:

• Spirituality in Art exhibition
• Koestler Awards 2018
• Electric Cabaret – mime & juggling show
• Design a Greetings Card competition
• ‘Bricking It’ Lego project
• Drama club
• National Service Users award entry