Council investment puts children first in West Sussex


A multi-million-pound programme of investment in refurbishing children’s homes in West Sussex is progressing well.  

It’s part of the County Council’s ongoing commitment to supporting and improving the lives of young people in residential care.  

Two senior council members saw first-hand the progress being made on a recent visit to Orchard House in Cuckfield, one of three homes currently undergoing renovations. 

Chairman Cllr Pete Bradbury and Cllr Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Learning and Skills reviewed work on extending the main building, refurbishment of a lodge within the grounds, and work to enhance the external grounds. 

A new Contact Centre is also being installed on site, which will be carbon neutral, helping improve the property’s environmental credentials and reduce energy costs.   

Orchard House provides full-time care and accommodation for children and young people with severe learning disabilities, as well as short-stay placements, day activities and outreach work. It is one of six children’s residential care homes run by the County Council. 

Plans are also underway for works at Teasel Close and High Trees homes in Crawley, adding to already completed projects at Bright Star and Blue Cove homes in Worthing, and Breakwater in Shoreham. All homes are currently rated either ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’ by Ofsted, apart from the recently opened Blue Cove, which is yet to be inspected. 

Work across all sites is due for completion in 2025, by which time over £10m will have been invested on improvements to children’s homes across the county since 2020.  

Cllr Pete Bradbury said: “The continued investment in our residential services will secure the future of these properties for years to come, and more importantly, will help improve the lives of young people who are cared for within them. It is crucial that West Sussex County Council put resources into the refurbishment and development of homes like Orchard House, to keep looked-after children with special educational needs and disabilities safe and to help them achieve their potential.  

Cllr Jacquie Russell added: “Seeing the scale of development work at Orchard House first-hand was a tangible example of the Council’s commitment to put children first, ensuring that these homes continue to be safe, nurturing and caring environments for children who face additional challenges”.   

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Last updated:
24 June 2024
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