Somerset Court was the first specialist centre for people with autism in the UK. Living here gives adults with autism the opportunity to lead fulfilling and increasingly independent lives in a beautiful environment.
Environment and facilities
Somerset Court is set in 26 acres of land near the seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea. Because it is also home to our day services, there is plenty to do on site: everyone living here has access to all the workshops, learning and leisure facilities.
We are only a five-minute drive from the local village so it is easy for us to visit its shop, pub and church. In Burnham-on-Sea we regularly go to the cinema, swimming pool, shops and beach, and we often travel to the larger towns of Taunton and Weston-super-Mare for their shops, cinemas, bowling, swimming, museums and galleries.
We have seven purpose-built houses at Somerset Court, which enable people to live ordinary day-today lives in small groups, with the help of our specialist staff. Everyone has their own bedroom and we encourage them to make their rooms their own by choosing the decor and accessories.
In each house there are the facilities you would find in any household: a PC, music, games and puzzles. People share the kitchen, living room and dining room, coming together for meals and activities such as arts and crafts.
We always go for nice walks outside and we see the chickens quite a lot.
Person we support
Our seven houses at Somerset Court:
- Greatwood and Costwold
Our newly-built homes each offer a mix of four-person shared living and two individual flats. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities.
Originally a cottage, Porlock was renovated and extended to create a comfortable modern home with seven of the bedrooms en-suite.
- Blackdown, Knoll, Lakeside and Mendip
Each of these bungalows are purpose-built and all the homes have their own shared living areas, such as lounge, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and garden.
Leisure and learning activities
At Somerset Court our aim is for people to gain in confidence and independence and to build their social and communication skills. To help each person to thrive and to develop their full potential we create tailor-made programmes of activities. These reflect people’s interests and needs, and are carefully structured and balanced to give a mix of learning and leisure.
At home, each person has their own timetable which encourages them to become more self-sufficient. It includes household chores such as shopping, cooking and independent living skills, and leisure activities such as visiting the pub, bowling or going for a walk. People may also choose to do art and craft activities, cooking, IT, music therapy and aromatherapy.
We make full use of the Somerset Court day service on our doorstep. Amongst other things we can take courses, use the sports facilities, and work in the woodwork shop, garden centre or creative studio, making high-quality products for sale.
People who live at Somersert Court also enjoy a wide range of leisure and vocational activities at the NAS Lynx resource centre in Weston-super-Mare, and take day and evening courses at nearby Bridgewater College.
Each person at Somerset Court has their own tailored programme of activities and support which helps them to develop the life and social skills that they need to move on into the community.
They have a key worker and a link worker who work closely with them to create their plan, learning about their ambitions and helping them to achieve their goals. We include family, carers, friends and staff in the planning process.
Our staff are knowledgeable and experienced in working with people with autism and we never rest on our laurels – we are continually updating and building our expertise. Communication can be difficult for people with autism and our staff use a variety of communication methods including spoken language, sign language, ®Makaton and visual strategies to help us all to communicate clearly.
All the houses at Somerset Court are registered with, and inspected by, the Care Quality Commission. Read the most recent reports here.