A new residential service for young adults with autism is being opened in Essex that aims to bring people back to the county who currently live out-of-area.

Orchard House in Weeley, North Essex, has facilities for up to 6 residents. It is based in a former children’s residential unit and will create up to 20 jobs. It aims to repatriate some of the many young people from across the area who have been moved away from their own communities due to the lack of available services locally.

Residents will be supported to integrate into the local community and to lead fulfilling lives, taking advantage of college, employment and leisure opportunities wherever possible.

The home, which is run by Craegmoor, part of the Priory Group, has undergone a significant refurbishment prior to its opening, following a delay caused by a break-in. Thieves took vital equipment designed to make life as comfortable as possible for the vulnerable residents.

Gary Thorpe, Craegmoor’s business development director, said: “Orchard House will help to bring young adults with autistic spectrum conditions back to Essex rather than living many miles away from family and friends.

“The service will be designed to help people to live as independently as possible so they can gain confidence and self-belief, integrate into the local community and make a valuable contribution to society.

“It is very sad that we had to delay the opening following a burglary but are now looking forward to welcoming the first residents.”