Independence training

Neuro-rehabilitation and therapies

The Lifestyles Academy is a vibrant independence training centre where young adults, aged from 18 years upwards with a physical and/or mild learning disability, plan and embark upon their journey to independent living.

The Academy has 3 training facilities:

Stage 1 – The Coach House

The Coach House is the Academy’s principal facility offering both residential and day training programmes. Students are assisted in identifying the service most suitable for their current situation. Once that is established, each student can progress towards their independence related goals from their own most suitable starting point. The Coach House accommodates 9 residential students and up to 75 day students per week. It includes 8 single bedrooms, plus 1 bedsit, residents lounge, dining room, training kitchen, laundry, computer room, two large training rooms and a fully wheelchair accessible garden.

Stage 2 – The North Lodge

An exciting two person adapted bungalow for transitional living, where students take on more responsibilities to work through their next and more intensive steps towards independence. North Lodge training staff are on hand to support and guide students.

Stage 3 – Gill’s House

A three person adapted bungalow in the community half a mile from Strode Park, where the North Lodge staff team operate an outreach service to support students as they complete the final step of the journey to independence.

Residential Training

The length of the residential stay, usually between 2 and 6 years, is determined by and tailored to each individuals development. The independence training programme is specifically designed to equip young people with the neccessary skills to be able to move into the community in a housing setting of their choice. This is achieved by covering all aspects of daily living, creative and leisure opportunities, developing social skills and helping students to understand the issues that they may encounter when living in the community.

Non-Residential Training

The non-residential training service, based at the Coach House, supports accredited learning opportunities in life skills, and work opportunities for day students with a physical and/or mild learning disability.

Training Programmes

Core activities for both residential and non-residential students are taken from the following subjects:

  • Personal care – hygiene, personal awareness, fashion
  • Home economics – cookery, laundry, shopping, nutrition
  • Social activities – swimming, keep fit, craft, social skills
  • Community interaction – advocacy, access to community
  • Education – numeracy, literacy, computing

Lifestyles Academy’s Leisure Scene

Students join together to take part in a wide range of social, creative and sporting activities. Trips are regularly organised to local gyms, swimming pools, discos, shops, cafes, restaurants and other community venues.

Creative and therapeutic activities such as pottery, art, sewing, gardening and woodwork are all part of the regular weekly activities programme.

Work Experience

The Lifestyles Academy also offers students work experience opportunities in Nippies Cafe, an enterprise operated on the Strode Park site for service users, visitors, staff and volunteers. Students working at Nippies Cafe undergo food safety awareness training as part of the programme. Other work experience opportunities are at Strode Park’s charity shop and working together with local business.

Theatre in the Park

Strode Park has its own unique open air theatre, fully accessible for wheelchair users, providing a whole range of entertainment throughout the summer months. Residential students of the Lifestyles Academy can have access to many of the theatre productions free of charge.

Lifestyles Academy Funding

Students are funded by their Local Authority Social Services Department and therefore must be allocated a Care Manager in the first instance.

Referrals, Visits and Feedback

If you are interested in further discussions or would like to arrange a visit please contact Zoe Lee, Manager of the Lifestyles Academy for Independence on 01227 373292 or via email at who will be pleased to discuss the various service options with you.

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