Norwood opens consultation on future of Ravenswood Village

Charity says residential facility for those with learning disabilities 'unfortunately represents a dated model of care'


Norwood announced today that it is to hold a wide-ranging consultation on the future of its Ravenswood Village in Berkshire, currently home to 96 adults with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The charity says that the village, established in 1953, “now unfortunately represents a dated model of care, which is no longer supported by national policy and is no longer being commissioned by local authorities”.

The number of residents is falling and with annual running costs exceeding £13 million, it is incurring “significant and increasing operating losses”. Substantial capital investment would be required “to manage unused areas and improve the infrastructure of those buildings in use”.

Plans long in the making to redevelop the site foundered last May when the local authority refused planning permission and the development partner withdrew.

Residents, relatives, staff and a number of volunteers will participate in the three-month consultation process, after which Norwood’s board and trustees will make a decision on the village’s future in the autumn.

Norwood chair Neville Kahn said: the charity “must continue to plan for the current and future needs of our community to ensure we have the right facilities in the right locations, in line with policy and meeting our community’s expectations.

“We know that any decision made about the future of Ravenswood will be of critical importance not only to the families we support but to the whole community. This is why it is so important we hear the views, priorities and suggestions of all those involved with the village.”

Norwood CEO Dr Beverley Jacobson added: “Recent decades have seen extensive changes in the way in which people with learning disabilities and/or autism are supported to live a fulfilling life. National guidance now emphasises the importance of individual choice and independence for everyone, including the need for services to be located in areas where people can easily participate in the community.”


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