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Ruskin Mill College, Horsley

Ruskin Mill College in Horsley, Gloucestershire, was rated outstanding for being effective, responsive and well-led following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), 28 August, 18 & 19 September 2019.

It achieved the score of good for the safe and caring categories.

Ruskin Mill College is a specialist residential college providing personal and nursing care to 21 people, and a shared lives service to nine young people with learning disabilities at the time of the inspection.

A shared lives scheme provides people with long-term placements, short breaks and respite care, within shared lives carers (SLC) own homes. The service can support up to 40 people.

The CQC report highlighted that young people interested in attending the college could access information online, through a video made by other young people at the college and in a handbook to help them make their choice. Staff visited people in their own homes, schools or other placements to assess their personal needs. This enabled them to work alongside young people to gain an insight into their preferences and interests. This was vital for young people with an autistic spectrum disorder who liked to have very strict routines or those who had very complex needs.

The vision of Ruskin Mill called Practical Skills Therapeutic Education integrates Education, Health and Care. This promoted a service wherein 'each individual has the potential to shape their own future through experiencing a meaningful relationship with the universe, earth and people. The service's values were based around inclusive learning, mutual respect and, treating individuals with dignity and respect. All of this was achieved through various learning opportunities offered to people such as woodwork and farming which supported to people to not only gain invaluable skills, but also value the importance of the natural resources available to them and the benefits of team work.

For one person who initially did not engage with other young people, their involvement in woodwork and the need to work with others when using several tools, had led them to develop friendships with these people. This had resulted in them becoming more engaged with staff and the people they lived with and a reduction in their isolation.

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