Making a positive difference to the lives of others is what attracted Bob Martin to a job with Orbis Education and Care after relocating to South Wales from the USA in 2011. Three promotions later, he is now running Orbis Dan Y Coed.
Bob is the residential manager at Orbis’ newly opened specialist school and residential unit, which continues to welcome new learners in following a multi-million refurbishment project to create a state-of-the art care and education facility.
The school at Dan y Coed has been open since late 2017 and can educate up to 30 children. Now the residential part can house up to 20 young people and will require 120 staff to run it at full capacity.
Bob says: “I had not long moved to the UK when I saw the job with Orbis and felt I could make a positive difference in the lives of young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), so I applied to become a support worker and the rest, as they say, is history.
“After three years in the role I was promoted to team leader and then joined the clinical team as a behavioural specialist working across several Orbis sites. This, coupled with previous work experience at a similar facility back in Nashville, led me to where I am now. I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Bob added: “My favourite part of all my roles within Orbis has been seeing a young person who may have been struggling with an area in their lives make remarkable progress and the fact that I helped to make that happen – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”
Did you know that 700 000 people in the UK are autistic? And according to statistics from the National Autistic Society, only 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment?
Many autistic people have skills that are highly sought after in the workplace. They are often experts in specific topics, as they are passionate about subjects that interest them. They are methodical, brilliant researchers, pay considerable attention to detail and are highly productive. So, why aren’t more autistic people in paid employment?
It may be that employers lack awareness about what autistic people can offer. Or they may not have the right support network in place for autistic employees. It’s something Orbis is working hard to address.
Read the full story from Ben Lobel at www.smallbusiness.co.uk
Dan y Coed, a new specialist school for children and young people is officially opening its doors this week in the West Cross area of Swansea.
The former outdoor-pursuits centre will see the fully redesigned state-of-the-art school open its doors to up to 20 pupils. The third and final phase of the site’s development will see a residential area open up to 20 children who require on-site overnight care and support.
The school currently offers places for day pupils from the age of five, whilst residential placements will be available for children aged between eight and nineteen. Children will be able to attend Dan y Coed daily for education only or as a resident during term time or for 52 weeks of the year.
We hope to have the school and its residential arm fully open by Autumn 2018.
Here’s what Orbis CEO Mike Currier had to say:
“We are thrilled to see the doors at Dan y Coed opening and welcoming children into the school. Our model of education is sector-leading as children learn from a flexible curriculum which is tailored to their individual needs as well as their interests and aspirations. Our 40-week academic year with just two-week’s break in the Summer means that our year is structured entirely for children who appreciated structure and routine.”
As well as education and care, Dan y Coed will offer a wide range of in-house clinical services from Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy to Positive Behavioural Support and psychology. Our aim is to get children engaged in education so they can make a positive and active contribution to the school and the local community.
Our latest residential service for adults, Ty Seren, has opened in Gowerton, Swansea. Located just a few miles from both Swansea and Llanelli, Ty Seren comprises four self-contained sole occupancy flats and a four-bed home.
It can accommodate up to eight adults with a range of complex needs, ensuring they are offered a living environment that works for them.
As with all of our services, Ty Seren offers an award-winning model that combines care, therapeutic support and continuous learning. Skills are learned, practiced and reinforced at all times, with person-centred planning designed to keep adults active, engaged and working towards their greater independence.
We pride ourselves on giving students and residents as much independence as possible as well as helping them gain skills and accreditations along the way, so they can make a positive and active contribution to their local community.
The residents at Ty Seren can also access the dedicated work and life-skills day service called The Orb. The Orb provides a range of real-life working environments where young people and adults with autism can gain hands-on experience in the world of work on a supported basis. It is a shop, a cafe, an office, a laundry and a kitchen.
It offers continuous learning, a transitional stepping-stone for school leavers, a source of valuable experience for those who have already left school and an alternative to a residential specialist college placement.
We’re opening a new state-of-the-art residential home for adults in West Aberthaw, Vale of Glamorgan!
The 12-bed service offers a transition for adults who have left full time education, as well as those who are learning to live more independently. The facility is arranged across a series of grade II listed stone barns and is a flagship service for us here at Orbis.
Here’s what our CEO Mike Currier had to say:
“Ty Carreg is a wonderful addition to our adult services. We saw the site and knew we had to have it, as it provides a beautiful environment and home. It is custom designed for the needs of its residents and staff to ensure they get the best experience whilst living and developing at Ty Carreg.
“We also invite our adult residents to access The Orb in Porth, Rhondda, which is a shop, café, kitchen, office and a laundry on the town’s high street. The Orb provides a range of real-life working environments for continuous learning, a transitional stepping-stone for school leavers, a source of valuable experience for those who have already left school and an alternative to a residential specialist college placement.”
Ty Carreg was developed by X-Stream Developments, which is owned by former All Black and Cardiff Blues captain Xavier Rush.
Xavier said: “Working with Orbis has been a unique experience, with every room on site custom made for the needs of its residents. Breathing life back into these beautiful old buildings has been very rewarding!”
Find out more about Ty Carreg here.