Located in the Chilterns Centre; Oak Lodge Day Services provide a friendly, fun facility for adults with learning disabilities. HWBIDCo recently met with their team to find out a little more about the activity led day services, and their role here in High Wycombe.
Q. Could you tell us a little bit more about Oak Lodge for those who might not know?
Source Care, a division of Source Group, was established in 2016. With the success of our first day service opening in November 2017, we then moved into the Chiltern’s Centre on 8th June 2019. Since then Oak Lodge has provided care, opportunity and a safe place for adults with learning disabilities. Oak Lodge differs from a lot of other day services thanks to our focus on empowering those we support to make their own varied decisions, improving and maintaining life skills and promoting independence within our centre.
For a lot of individuals and families, the next step after leaving full-time education can be really difficult – sometimes families aren’t even aware there is a ‘next step’- and we believe it’s really important to make people aware of the services we offer that not only provide fun, life-skill driven experiences, but also respite for carers. We also support young people moving from school to college – providing a safe and developmental environment between the transition.
Q. Why did you choose High Wycombe as the location for your services?
Our CEO is local to the area and recognised the lack of similar services in the nearby area. By being located in High Wycombe we can reach service users who won’t have access to similar services.
Being in town specifically is helpful for us – it makes it a lot easier for our clients to get to us and allows us to conveniently provide important experiences for those we look after – including trips to the bowling alley, cinema and even the theatre!
Q. When clients come to spend a day at Oak Lodge, what can they expect to do?
With a covered storefront, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate everything that’s inside Oak Lodge. Inside the unit, there’s a whole host of activities – including a gym space with professional equipment, an IT Hub, an area for our clients to get involved with food prep and cooking and even a karaoke machine!
We also structure month-long projects, such as our recent robot project! Everyone got to use teamwork, creativity and artistic skills to build a piece of the robot – coming together to form a great display piece for everyone to be proud of.
Our days are planned out to provide a structured experience, however we’re always flexible to what our clients want to do – after all, everything we offer is tailored to and to benefit them.
Q. Are there any other aspects of the centre you’d like to make our readers aware of?
In addition to day services we also provide respite care in local accommodation specifically designed for adults with learning disabilities – these offer ongoing and emergency respite with 24/7 staff. This allows us to provide home from home experiences to encourage service users’ independence. More about this can be found here.
We also have a ‘Learn IT’ scheme running in our aforementioned IT Hub, which teaches service users a range of computer skills, from mouse and keyboard control, to Microsoft Word proficiency. The specialised IT training course is entirely focused on aspects that cater to the needs of our service users. We’re extremely proud of everyone working hard to learn IT skills and hope to introduce new service users to the incredibly beneficial scheme. You can find out further about the ‘Learn IT’ scheme here.
As well as the facilities and opportunities we provide for our service users, there is also a great sense of community in our centres – with the centre reuniting school friends and creating opportunities to meet new people and make new friends.
Q. Is there any other ‘local gem’ of Wycombe you could recommend (could be another business, cafe, walk etc.)?
Our recommendation for Local Hidden Gem would have to be Fitness Garden, they opened at around the same time as us in the Chiltern’s Centre.
We always encourage our service users to participate in a form of exercise each day – we believe what they do is key in our community and we love their vision and focus on positive mental wellbeing!
Where can people find out more about you and everything you have to offer?
For queries / more information please contact 01494 417 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oak Lodge Day Services is located within The Chilterns Shopping Centre, High Wycombe, HP13 5ES and is open 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.