New children’s home provides a safe haven for vulnerable youngsters

A state-of-the-art new children’s home which will care for some of society’s most vulnerable young people has opened its doors for the first time.

Lansdowne Secure Children’s Home, in Hailsham, East Sussex, is now one of the most modern, secure facilities in the country, having been totally rebuilt on the site of its original base in Hawks Road.

The £8 million development, funded by the Department for Education, houses young people who may be in danger of harming themselves or others, who are placed in secure accommodation for their own protection or that of others in the community.

The residential area of the complex boasts seven bedrooms with en-suite bathroom facilities, a dining room where children eat together, a games room, two lounges, multi-faith area and sensory room.

Meanwhile, the building also includes a fully-equipped school, with staff offering a broad and balanced curriculum using the latest technology.

Youngsters learn in a multi-use classroom and there are dedicated rooms for vocational courses such as science, home economics, hair and beauty and performing arts. The building also houses a sports hall and fitness suite.

Teresa Lavelle-Hill, Head of Looked-After Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council, said: “We have been able to provide an excellent service at the old Lansdowne but the new building takes the level of care we can offer to a whole new level.

“While it’s important to maintain high levels of safety and security, Lansdowne is primarily a children’s home and its residential area remains child-focused and homely.

“It is home to some of the most vulnerable children in care and will provide a safe, secure but nurturing environment in which young people can live, learn and socialise, helping them to develop respect for themselves and others.

“The home will provide the security and support they need to progress and grow into mature, responsible citizens, which is to the benefit not only the young people themselves but society as a whole.”

The home has consistently received ‘good’ Ofsted ratings with some ‘outstanding’ features.

Children normally stay at Lansdowne for a period of three months, but some do stay for longer if it is decided they will benefit.

All young people who stay at the centre receive an individual care plan and package of support ensuring their educational, emotional and behavioural well-being.

The home is one of only a small number of its kind in the UK and places can be offered at a cost to other local authorities which need a secure placement.

Further information

Picture captions

01 – Lansdowne Secure Children’s Home has been rebuilt with £8 million Government funding
02 / 03 – The complex boasts seven en-suite bedrooms, one of which is designed for children with high dependency needs, such as a physical disability
04 – The welcome area at the on-site school
05 – Children learn in well-equipped classrooms
06 – The on-site sensory room
07 / 08 – The corridors