A new dedicated short break and respite service for people with learning disabilities and autism has opened in Bath.

Newton House, run by support provider Dimensions, was recently opened by Minister for Communities and Local Government and MP for Bath Don Foster.

The respite/short break service is just outside the centre of Bath and provides 5 bedrooms each with a flat screen TV and DVD player, stereo and lots of storage space. Two bedrooms have hoisting facilities and there is a through-floor lift to assist those with restricted mobility.

Luke Joy-Smith, operations director for the South West, said: “We have seen the positive impact of shifting the traditional balance of power from the person providing support to the person being supported. 

“People we support have told us that access to housing and participation in their community are vital to their quality of life and wellbeing. At Newton House, every person has their stay built around their needs and wishes. There is a wide choice of activities for people to participate in at Newton House but also within the local community.

“As an organisation our priority is to enable people to have choice and control over where and how they live and to support them to feel part of local life.”

Foster added: “Where people live is fundamental to how they experience life. The people I have met… want to be a part of their community and being able to participate in local life, such as shopping, going to the cinema and having a local voice helps to connect people who can otherwise feel isolated and cut off.  

“Supporting the housing needs of our society’s most vulnerable people is fundamental to helping people achieve greater independence, confidence and self-esteem. Newton House is a positive example of how a housing and social care provider is working together with people to design, develop and deliver outcomes that make a difference.

“Small adaptations can make a big difference and the private rented sector as well as developers can play a crucial role in transforming the lives and experiences of people with learning disabilities and autism.”