Photo: man with watering can in the garden

Merlewood is a specialist residential service for autistic adults and additional learning disabilities or other complex needs. The six people who live here receive expert support from our staff to enable them to live fulfilling lives, to learn, to belong to their local community and to have fun.

Since my son came to live at Merlewood, everything possible has been done to improve the quality of his life. The staff amaze us with their caring dedication and genuine concern for all who live there.


Environment and facilities

Merlewood is a large detached house in a residential area of Great Harwood, close to local transport links and the idyllic Ribble Valley. Local amenities, such as a leisure centre, library and shops, are all within walking distance. Our house has six individual bedrooms, a large lounge and a conservatory that leads into a spacious, private and enclosed garden. We are welcoming and encourage social interaction, providing plenty of space for people to relax and meet with friends and family.

Leisure and learning activities

We offer a wide range of activities to help people develop new skills and achieve the best possible quality of life. We encourage everyone living at Merlewood to take an active part in daily tasks and learn to socialise by sharing activities with others. We engage with our local community and involve family, friends and everyone important to the people we support. Our Centres' team, based nearby, provides access to even more activities, including sports, dance, art, music and education, all designed for autistic people.

Person-centred approach

Everyone who lives at Merlewood has their own key worker who work closely with them to develop and deliver their individual care and support plan. We build each person’s plan by finding out their ambitions, goals, needs and preferences, in close collaboration with their family, friends and staff. The lasting and productive relationships we build mean that we can deliver the best possible support to each person.

Our team

Our staff are well trained, qualified and enthusiastic. We work in partnership with outside agencies such as GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, outreach teams, community nurses and consultants to deliver high quality care and support to everyone at Merlewood. Communication can be difficult for people with autism and we use various approaches, including speech, sign language (including Makaton®) and visual strategies within the SPELL framework, to make sure each person’s views are heard and understood.

How to access our support

Places in our residential homes are usually funded directly by your local authority although other funding sources may sometimes be available. For more information, visit ouraccess page.

Contact us about this service