Norwood’s Buckets and Spades respite centre celebrates ‘Good’ Ofsted rating

12 July 2018

Trustees and staff have joined with parents of Norwood’s Buckets and Spades respite centre to celebrate achieving a ‘good’ rating for the second successive year following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Home Manager, Claire Politzer, who assumed the role in November 2017, was encouraged by the report saying; “It has been an exciting and challenging six months and it is great to see that the hard work of the staff team at Buckets and Spades recognised.”

The inspectors were particularly impressed with how well children and young people are helped and protected: “There is a strong focus on children’s safety and security. Parents trust the staff to keep their children safe in the home and when out on trips.”

Ron Brown, Director of Services, was delighted with the report, saying that it demonstrated Norwood’s “relentless drive for improvement as we continue to strive for excellence across all of our services.”

Buckets and Spades is Norwood’s purpose-built respite centre providing overnight short breaks for children and young people with complex health needs. The service gives them an opportunity to try new things in a safe environment, interact with other children and enjoy access to specialist sensory equipment and gardens.

The Ofsted report rated the centre as ‘good’ in all three categories from ‘Overall experiences and progress of children and young people’, to ‘How well children and young people are helped and protected’ and ‘The effectiveness of leaders and managers’. Other notable comments from the full report include:

“Children look forward to their stays in this child-centred home. They soon settle into their routines, enjoy seeing their friends and take part in a wide range of activities, which a parent described as ‘varied, fun and interesting’. Their experience is very positive.”

“Children enjoy warm, affectionate and humorous relationships with the staff. A parent appreciated ‘the very friendly, welcoming atmosphere where staff are very accommodating’. Because the staff know the children so well, they can interpret any changes in their well-being or behaviour, and manage these accordingly.”

“Parents and guardians value the service and the difference that it has made to their own and their child’s life. One parent said, ‘As a family, we totally rely on it.’ Most would like their child to have more days in the home.”

“Staff know children’s needs very well. High staffing levels enable staff to spend quality time with each child. Staff support children’s communication, for example by working with school staff on using technology and communication aids.”

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Notes for editors


Further information

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About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.

It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.

Each year Norwood needs £35m to keep its services running, £12m of which comes through voluntary donations. These services include over 55 sites across London and the South East.

Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London thanks to the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.