Orchard Vale Trust is a charity, family and community and is dedicated to providing services that encourage diversity and equality.  

We have been offering residential services since 1985 and offer tailored en-suite accommodation to adults with a wide range of learning disabilities   

Since then we have developed and grown in so many ways and now have 5 different homes that all offer specific support services. Although all homes are different, they all provide a person centred service where residents are respected and listened to.  

Residents are supported individually to become independent, enjoy privacy, build on their skills, socialise and enjoy life to full.


The residents at East Court enjoy life in a caring environment that is stimulating and fulfilling and where individual needs are met and choices respected.

The 16 residents at East Court enjoy living in a delightful rural location within a short distance of Wells. We deliver professional care within a stimulating and homely environment and our growing day care ensures there are opportunities to develop new friendships. We also forge valuable links with the local community and some residents are supported in volunteer opportunities. Others enjoy activities of their choice both on and off site and all residents are fully involved in planning their lives; this includes decorating their rooms, resident meetings, care plans, designing menus and organizing and attending social events.

The care we provide is ultimately flexible and orientated to the individual and their needs, wants and desires. We continually look to improve our service to our clients and to improve their all round quality of life.

We provide a person centred service where residents are respected and listened to within an ethos where they can be independent, enjoy privacy, build on their skills and enjoy their life at East Court. Support is provided by a qualified and professional team that is also flexible, caring, creative in their service delivery and innovative in improving our residents lives.

An open door policy enables residents to talk to managers and staff and communication with family and friends is actively encouraged. A professional staff team work with residents to promote choice and self esteem and to build constructive relationships.

We hold regular resident reviews and involve family and professionals; we are fully compliant with CQC. Staff receive regular training and are committed to enabling residents to reach their full potential, keep them safe and to promote their individual skills and confidence in order to lead a full and happy life.



‘Yes, I like living at East Court because there are all my friends and always lots to do. I enjoy going to work and making things in the pottery’.


East Court Resident


Northcroft is an Edwardian house in Cheddar, Somerset within walking distance of the village centre. There are a variety of shops, several pubs, cafes, places of worship, banks, a library, a leisure centre and swimming pool.

Cheddar Gorge, located in the beautiful Mendip Hills, is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is surrounded by open countryside some of which is owned by the National Trust. The Strawberry Line cycle path provides a traffic free walking and cycle routes to other villages.

 There are many opportunities to become involved in the community. Residents are members of local clubs and groups such as Gateway Club, Amateur dramatics, Zumba classes and walking and rambling groups.

We have a loyal and dedicated team of staff who actively support our eight residents at Northcroft to live the lives they choose. During the Day there are a range of activities on offer, including workshops, arts, crafts and activities at East Court, local college classes, karate, hill walking, cycling, relaxation groups and office work.

Northcroft is truly person centred, all residents are encouraged to get involved in aspects of daily living such as shopping, cooking, cleaning and gardening.

Within their home residents use the communal lounge, hall, kitchen and dining room to watch TV and DVDs, listen to music, use the computer, cook and make drinks or simply chat and socialise with their friends and family.

The newly refurbished kitchen dining room is the heart of the home, furnished with an AGA and a large family style dining table; residents eat meals together here. Visitors often comment on the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Northcroft.

We have a private and secluded garden at the back of the house which is furnished with comfortable seating and a barbeque area. There is a patio with sturdy bench and chairs where residents often choose to eat, chat or play a game of table tennis in the warmer weather.

‘Well! Cheddar is a lovely place to live, it has shops and a leisure centre. Northcroft now is good for all the residents, we all have bathrooms and a new kitchen’.


North Croft Resident


St. Chad’s House was the third Orchard Vale Trust home and opened in October 1995. It is an attractive early 20th-century four-bedroom detached home with a large garden and is home to four men with moderate to profound learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders and a need for positive behavioral support.

St. Chad’s has high staff levels to support the needs of its residents, and provides an enriched social, homely and therapeutic environment within an ordinary home setting.

The house is located in a quiet area of Midsomer Norton in the Bath and North East Somerset area, and within walking distance of all local amenities and services. There are cars available for longer journeys although the residents enjoy using public transport.

St. Chad’s uses the Person Centred Active Support model, so all activities are generated by the home and its interactions with the local community. The men participate in all aspects of running their home.

In the main house there are two individualised lounges, one of them shared by two of the men who are friends and the other used by one individual, while all have their own en-suite bedrooms.

Completed in 2016, St. Chad’s has an annexe which houses a bespoke, self-contained flat, specifically designed to meet the needs of one resident. The flat contains a personal bedroom, wet-room, laundry, kitchen/diner, lounge and garden space.

The men manage their own rooms, the communal areas and the garden, plan their own menus, shop for food and cook all their own meals. They also contribute to the home’s DIY and garden maintenance.

Just as in all homes, there are more things to do than time to do them, and this means there’s a lot of choice both at home and in the community.

The men’s lifestyles are a mixture of the home commitments and things they enjoy in their leisure time.

The staff at St. Chad’s approach the residents’ behavioural needs using Positive Behaviour Support in which all staff are trained. The essence of this approach is to understand why challenging behaviour occurs and to encourage new, more positive behaviours and increase social skills, while always respecting the individual.

The staff receive extensive training and St. Chad’s has had many successful inspections by the regulators. It also enjoys the full and active support of the men’s families and friends.

‘I like to cook, go shopping and go to party’s to see my friends’.


St Chads Resident

Ferndale, in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, was opened in December 1998 and provides support for three people with moderate to profound learning disabilities on the autistic spectrum and all with a history of challenging needs. Residents at Ferndale each have their own bespoke personal living spaces.

Ferndale, a detached house, is just a five minute drive or 20 minute walk from the town and its local amenities. The house is situated in a typical residential area and has a large, enclosed garden. Ferndale uses the Person Centred Active Support model, which means that all activities are generated by the home and its interactions with the local community around it.

Ferndale maintains a ‘low arousal environment’ which is based on planned and predictable activity and looking ahead to enable us to effectively support change.

The staff at Ferndale approach the resident’s behavioural needs using Positive Behaviour Support in which all staff are trained. The essence of this approach is to understand why challenging behaviour occurs and to encourage new, more positive behaviours and increase social skills, while always respecting the individual.

The residents have successfully developed their own activities and routines that help them live successfully as part of the local community – something which in the past has been challenging for them.

Ferndale has a very stable and long-serving staff team who support residents in living active days at home and within their local communities.

Staff members work closely with each resident to choose the right mix of activities and plan their days to achieve their ‘perfect week’.

In the home residents do the normal domestic day-to-day activities as well as looking after the garden, DIY activities, cultivating a small vegetable plot at the back of the house, cleaning the cars and doing other activities like art and music therapy. Residents at Ferndale do the shopping for all their daily provisions in addition to their personal items, use local leisure facilities, visit family, explore the local countryside and enjoy eating out.

We are deliberately flexible in our activities at Ferndale to be able to accommodate the inevitable changes that arise in life and help to maintain the low arousal environment.

‘I live at Ferndale in my own flat. I like to cook dinner and go swimming’.


Ferndale Resident


If you would like to know more about our residencies and the services we offer please do get in touch.  

You may also be interested in:

Orchard Vale Trust.
East Court, Doctors Hill, Wookey, Wells, Somerset. BA5 1AR.

Tel: 01749 671706


Registered Charity No. 326940

Company No. 1946592