What we do

Each year thousandsĀ of children are born with learning disabilities, and although many of them will achieve independence, a job and a home of their own, some will need a lifetime of help and support. Orchard Vale Trust exists to offer this help and support through our residential homes.

We are a charity which was founded in 1985 by two families who had sons with Downs Syndrome and were unhappy with the care offered to them. Our first home was opened in 1985 and since then three more have opened across Somerset. Recently we have begun to offer daycare too.

Our aim is to give the people living in our homes as much control over their own lives as possible. Because we believe everyone deserves dignity, autonomy and choice, we build our services around each individual's needs.

With a staff of around 70, we are able to offer a hugely flexible range of support including semi-independent living, supported housing and more intensive support for those with challenging needs. Some of our residents are in sheltered employment and many attend college courses, as well as participating in a rich and fulfilling range of activities at home and in the local community.

Although Orchard Vale is paid by local authorities for our services, this doesn't cover everything we do, and ongoing fundraising is absolutely essential to our existence.