Local news

"The Light House"

Quality care in a family home 

In April, we were invited to an Open Day at The Lighthouse,  Raynes Park, a newly opened registered children’s home that offers accommodation for up to five children and young people (girls and boys) aged from 8 – 18.

This is the second Lighthouse project to be opened, the first one having been set up in Surbiton. 

The Lighthouse project specialises in working with children with autistic spectrum disorder and/or learning difficulties who may have a variety of needs, including those who display associated challenging behaviour.  It offers a stimulating yet calming environment for children with sensory and social impairments, with a needs-led range of therapeutic support, such as intensive interaction, play therapy, and PAT “Pets at home Therapy”. 

 The home itself has been thoughtfully designed to provide four bedrooms upstairs, with a bathroom and shower room, as well as one downstairs suitable for a wheelchair user with an ensuite wet-room.  All the bedrooms are light, airy, welcoming, homely, and beautifully furnished and decorated in styles appropriate for young people.  Downstairs there is a sitting room, a kitchen/dining room and a purpose built multi-sensory room.   The latter has many benefits for children with special needs providing place of  peace and calm, where amongst other things it can also help to encourage learning, motor development, cognitive development, language and social interaction skills. 

The project believes in the principle of gentle teaching, reinforcement and use reward, praise and recognition to promote positive behaviour.  All children have an individual behavior support plan that is followed by all staff. 

From the Kitchen/Dining room there are patio doors to the garden, which as yet is simply laid to grass.   However, there is room to play, relax and do some planting of flowers and vegetables so the youngsters can see them flourish as the months go by. 

It seems that everything has been thought of. At the end of the garden is another small building which houses the Office, where staff can have meetings with parents and others, so that the homely atmosphere of the house is not disturbed.   There is also a laundry room where the household washing is done and which the children can also learn to use. 

The Lighthouse encourages participation in leisure interests within the local community and participation in activities at the home that engender and build self-esteem and confidence.  The children are offered opportunities to go out and about – such as swimming, visits to the cinema, shopping and eating out, and trips to places of interest such as Richmond Park and Kew Gardens. 

All this, including a high staffing level comes at a cost.  Basic fees are £2,800 per week, per child, with additional support priced at £22.00 per hour.   Fees for short breaks are £375.00 per night.  Children are generally referred by their Local Authority.    The costs may seem steep, but for the families and children who need the help that The Lighthouse offers, the project is a Godsend, and we wish them well. 

 Jill Truman 

“The Lighthouse“ Grand Drive is run by Ream Care www.reamcare.co.uk 


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