Consultation into the future of Ravenswood Village

23 July 2021

Ravenswood Village is a registered residential care facility based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, run by Norwood, that offers care and support for 96 people with learning disabilities and autism.

In April this year, Norwood started a consultation into the future of Ravenswood Village. We have spent the last three months in close dialogue with our residents, their families, our staff, volunteers and local authorities in order to understand the views and priorities of all involved with Ravenswood. We will use all of this information and the views expressed to us, to help us make what we know is a very important decision but need to stress that no decision has yet been made. We completely understand the anxiety this is causing for families whose relatives live at Ravenswood.

The decision to hold a consultation was taken for a number of reasons. Since Ravenswood was established in 1953, the way in which people with learning disabilities and/or autism are supported to live their fullest lives has changed beyond recognition. Today, organisations like Norwood are expected to provide services that enable people to exercise a maximum degree of independence, exploring the realms of what is possible for them. This includes choices about how and where people spend their time, what interests they might pursue and the ability to connect to what is on offer from the local community. 

Local Authorities today are not keen to commission placements in services such as Ravenswood and the number of residents living in the Village continues to decline, making the service increasingly financially unsustainable. Capital investment likely to amount to many millions of pounds is needed to manage the unused areas and improve the site, and even that may not provide an environment that is best practice by today’s standards.  

This is a complex situation, and a difficult one for all involved. The wellbeing of the people we support at Ravenswood Village – and the importance of planning for their needs ahead of time, given that Ravenswood no longer represents the type of facility that meets best practice in social care – will remain a priority for whatever comes next.

Our longer-term aim is to ensure that Norwood’s facilities are in the right locations, provide the right kind of care and support for vulnerable people, align with best practice, community expectations and relevant social care guidelines. In this way we will be able to continue to meet our community’s needs, now and into the future.

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