New training centre for autistic youngsters opens in Nottingham

Marchant House 2
Marchant House
Marchant House lounge
Marchant House interior bedroom

A training centre to be run by Sutherland House School has officially opened today in Nottingham to help students develop independence skills within a house setting.

The spacious 3-bedroom house in Chilwell will give the school’s older students the chance to learn a variety of household skills from cooking and cleaning to gardening.

“It has been designed to help our students move into adulthood and prepare them for a world after school,” said Sutherland House School Headteacher, Ann Stewart.

Each term four students, aged between 17 and 19, will learn key skills that will help them become more independent, whilst also developing their confidence in their daily lives.


“We’re using a structured approach that will enable our students to work towards their independence at their own pace,” added Ann.

“It means that when the time comes they will be ready to move on and go on to live in supported living or go onto further education or whatever they choose to do next. We would like to maximise their potential and ensure they are prepared for their next stage in life.”

The creation of the training centre has been made possible thanks to a grant of £30,700 awarded from the Wolfson Foundation to Autism East Midlands, the organisation that runs Sutherland House School. The skill-share house and training facility will in the longer term also offer a similar training programme for autistic adults, who use the AEM services.

The building itself was donated to Autism East Midlands and Sutherland House School by the late Eric Kenneth Marchant. It underwent a major transformation in order to adapt it to create the training facility and has been named in the memory of Mr Marchant.

Added Ann: “We are grateful for both the donation of the building from the estate of Mr Marchant and the funding support from the Wolfson Foundation. Marchant House will empower our young people and will make a difference to many people’s lives.”

  • Chairman of AEM’s Board of Trustees, George Smith cut the ribbon to officially open the facility. He is pictured above with Sutherland House School students, teacher Mark Stocken, and project coordinator Carol Sales at the official launch.

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