What Do We Do?

From our base in Milton Keynes, Walnuts Care offers a Day Service for young adults who have Autism or related difficulties. Day Services generally follow the same term-time pattern as our Educational Services but additional care may be available for up to 52 weeks each year, staffed by our own experienced, skilled and knowledgeable team.

A range of stimulating activities and outings can be accessed. Our emphasis is on supporting the development of Life Skills, Social Interaction and, where appropriate, Independence. Everything is carefully planned depending on the needs of the individuals we help. Activities could include the following – all of which happen regularly:

  • visiting shops where financial transactions can be practiced;
  • gardening and bringing fruit or vegetables back to cook;
  • swimming;
  • arts, crafts and projects;
  • choosing lunch at the Supermarket, then cooking it on-site;
  • learning – or just relaxing – in our bespoke Sensory Room.

We have our own vehicles and some of our learners enjoy accessing buses and trains, too.  A good walk is also very popular!

Is There A Need?

As we have found with those who wish to continue their Education, the choices for young adults with Autism who cannot cope in mainstream services, are limited.

The fact that some young adults have completed their 3-year accredited learning at Walnuts College and then wish to return to us under the  Social Care Team, tells us that there is demand for our service.

Who Is Involved?

Walnuts Care works closely with CTALD (Community Team for Adults with a Learning Disability.) This Council-run function employs a host of Health & Social Care professionals who broker placements to a variety of destinations throughout Milton Keynes.

Walnuts Care also works directly with Milton Keynes CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) as we have young adults who attend our Day Services whose primary need is Health-related. The group commissions local services and their role “is to turn taxpayers’ money into better health, fewer inequalities and to ensure the public have ready access to effective high quality services that give them a good experience.”

Who Benefits?

For those young adults who come to our Day Services having completed their Education qualifications, there is undoubted benefit from the continuity it provides. The same staff, the same routines and the same experiences make for easier transitions, and families tell us that being able to do this provides peace of mind rather than having to undergo more change for all involved.

It is not a pre-requisite that those who attend Day Services do so via the Education route. We believe that our ‘curriculum’ is interesting and adds value to their lives. We frequently receive enquiries about young adults joining us, from a variety of settings.

Where Next?

Whilst we remain secure in what we do, there are some youngsters who have been supported by ‘The Walnuts’ in its various forms since the age of four. This is testament to the skills, knowledge and expertise of our staff and those at The Walnuts School, but at Walnuts Care we believe that other experiences and perspectives should be offered.

To this end, part of the individual agreement packages we create with families and commissioners, is that the young person’s future should be re-evaluated at the age of 25.