Otterhayes provides accommodation for up to 21 people with learning difficulties where they can develop ongoing life skills and live an independent life with the support of Otterhayes.
Residents may be accommodated in one of six units each representing a stage between close supervision and care and near self-independence. Every resident can enjoy personal privacy in individual rooms many with en suite facilities, and all are encouraged to make their rooms personal.
Otterhayes is situated in 4 acres, but just 2 minutes drive from Ottery St. Mary with its shops, churches, pubs, health centre, and library and bus services to Exeter, Honiton and Sidmouth.
The 4 acres include a vegetable garden and walled lawns equipped for outdoor pursuits and summer barbeques. All are maintained with the help of residents and various out buildings are equipped for pottery, craft, computers, training kitchen, workshop, club house and practical activities.
Free and leisure time are just as important as the task-led part of each day; whether inside Otterhayes or in the nearby towns, residents are encouraged to make their own choices and decisions like a quiet hour with a friend to play music, watch a film or T.V., play a game or for some a trip to the local pub. There are also opportunities to join activities within the local community such as clubs and drama/dance.
The residents have the opportunity to choose a holiday. These holidays can be tailored to suit the individual, be it a trip abroad or something closer to home. Recent trips have included France, Spain, Corfu, Portugal, The Canaries, Euro Disney, Salcombe and camping in Cornwall and the New Forest. Each holiday is discussed with the residents and carefully selected so as to give the best holiday experience for the individual.
There are work opportunities within Otterhayes – in woodworking, in pottery, in horticulture, building maintenance and decoration, and in computer, project/craft skills, drama, and dance. Formal education is not neglected. Total Communication programme (Widgit) is used to help develop both literacy and numeracy and encourage spoken language. There are several buildings or rooms including a clubhouse for social gatherings and activities on offer.
A full day's work is encouraged within the residents' abilities. This may include college, a job in the local community or one of the many tasks which abound at Otterhayes. Groups of residents also undertake conservation work with various organisations. These include Stover Country Park, Yarner Woods on Datmoor and various sites under the supervision of East Devon Coast and Countryside Services. Otterhayes provides vehicles for all activities.
Those that are able are encouraged to seek work in local businesses. This has been very successful over the years and the Trust is very grateful to the local employers who have given their support. We now have people gaining experience in many fields such as at a garden centre, a bakery/restaurant, a dog grooming parlour, a recycling centre, a charity shop and the local Donkey Sanctuary.
The Otterhayes Trust
Ottery St. Mary
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