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New year-round residential unit opened at Heronsbridge

A new residential unit has been officially opened at Heronsbridge School in Bridgend so that children and young people with complex needs can receive all-year-round support close to home.

The caretaker’s house next to the school has been refurbished and extended by Bridgend County Borough Council so that it can now provide accommodation for up to three children and young people aged from eight up to 19.

Before the new facility was created, any children who needed such extensive support had to be placed in neighbouring local authorities – a situation that wasn’t ideal, as Councillor Phil White, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, explained: “While families certainly appreciated the fact that support was available to them, they did tell us that the upheaval of going outside of the county borough was sometimes unsettling.

“Stability and continuity are vitally important in a young person’s life, so we are very pleased to create this new residential unit which will enable children and young people to remain within their local community.

“Placing young people in neighbouring authorities was also very costly for us, so we feel that this new development will make more sense financially too.

“The facility has been named Harwood House in honour of Heronsbridge’s long-serving caretaker, Mr Harwood, who used to live there. Mr Harwood is a pillar of the school, and therefore it was absolutely fitting to name the new residential unit after him.”

Harwood House has been in operation since November and the feedback from staff, the children, and their families so far has been excellent. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the project across various council departments. It has been a real team effort.

Councillor Phil White, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help.

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