Essex Care Consortium - Individual Empowerment
Cedar House
Cedar House

Cedar House Dining Area
Cedar dining area

Birch house
Birch House

Lounge at Birch
Lounge at Birch

Sophie helping to prepare a meal
Sophie out and about

Taking time to relax

Contact details

Registered Manager : Natalie Schofield
Tel: 01206330308
Fax: 01206331811

Assistant Manager : Lucy Carley Email:
Tel: 01206330308
Fax: 01206331811


Essex Care Consortium Ltd.
Maldon Rd
Colchester Essex

Residential Care - Colchester

An Environment for Personal Growth Essex Care Consortium: Colchester site is a specialist resource registered to provide living accommodation and care for up to twenty clients with learning disabilities, who have complex needs, aged eighteen or over. Accommodation consists of two separate houses known as Cedar House and Birch House and two separate registered self‐contained flats.

Cedar House

Cedar House has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is sensitively structured around the particular and complex needs of each person. Our client centered approach focuses on individual preference and requirements. This is reflected in the way care and support is organised for each person in a manner that both acknowledges limitations and respects their individuality and autonomy.

This unique setting enables people who live here to experience considerable personal space and freedom in surroundings that are conducive to the provess of growth, development and healingShort, medium and long-term contracts are offered to clients within this spacious single storey building and individual accommodation is provided for two separate groups of up to five people. The facilities are modern and individually decorated. Each group has its own lounge and dining room with shared kitchen facilities and there are three bathrooms, one en-suite and a separate toilet. The two groups in Cedar often choose to come together for internal and external activities.

Cedar is set within its own extensive and beautifully crafted enclosed sensory garden. This setting allows clients with challenging behaviour to experience a sense of personal space and freedom within safe and attractive surroundings. The garden is divided into sections: a water garden with beautiful mirrored water walls, a music garden with a complete set of dragon chimes and batonkas, a swing area with specialised swings, a rest area with a large wooden gazebo and electric points for music, and a Spa area with seats and a hot tub to relax in safely. All areas are carefully designed with sensory plants to encourage natural sounds and smells, supplemented by an abundance of coloured lights so the garden can be used into the evening.

Inclusive Communication in both houses

Essex Care Consortium is an Inclusive Communication environment and considerable importance is placed on encouraging personal expression, language and interaction. Our Inclusive Communication team works closely with the staff and clients in Cedar House and Birch House. They develop intensive communication strategies and experiment with different ways to gain their attention and hold their interest, in order to encourage greater confidence in self-expression. Gaps in development can be identified and work begun around concepts such as expressing individual wishes and needs, making choices, setting personal boundaries and beginning to work towards the development of more practical skills.

Birch House

In Birch House the clients are encouraged to build a greater understanding of themselves as individuals and a cohesive sense of self worth, personal power and self-determination. Each person is helped to identify obstacles that are a barrier to their personal growth and to set realistic goals. These might range from developing appropriate skills to manage or overcome the debilitating effects of anxiety, to the building of more ordinary skills necessary for everyday life such as enhancing aspects of communication, self-help or social skills and personal confidence.

Service users are encouraged in a sensitive and supportive way to build a greater understanding of themselves as individuals with a cohesive sense of self worth, personal power and self determination Birch House is a single-story building with a first floor self-contained client flat above and an 2 other with a self-contained single service client flats. It is set within its own surrounding gardens and space offering open access to the larger grounds beyond. Medium to long term contracts are offered to clients and individual accommodation is provided for up to 6 people. There is a spacious lounge, dining room and kitchen available for shared use. Bathroom facilities are shared between no more than 3 people.

These clients enjoy space and the freedom to explore an active social life including many different forms of sport and recreation. They are involved in the day to day running of the home, planning healthy menus, preparing and cooking meals, and assisting with household chores and shopping. Their monthly meetings enable them to negotiate changes, discuss their preferences for menus and décor and plan ahead for home-based and local activities.

Facilties at our Colchester Site

Summary of the Colchester Site Facilities:

- 3 Mini Busses

- Separate arts, crafts and activities rooms

- Fully equipped snoozelain

- On site outdoor heated swimming pool, recreation facilities and large lawn areas

- 11 acres of natural grounds, woodland walks and enclosed gardens

- Specially equipped large sensory garden

- Large allotments

The Colchester site has 11 rural acres of natural beauty with extensive grounds, gardens, wooded walks, a large sports field, picnic areas and the sensory garden. The grounds are a natural habitat for many kinds of wildlife including protected species. The unique location of this setting enables clients to experience considerable personal space and freedom in surroundings that are conducive to growth, development and healing.

The site is shared with our Day Service, Access, which is housed in separate buildings. Access takes clients from both our sites as well as the wider community.

Facilities on site include an aromatherapy room and various activity rooms for art, craft and fitness. There is also an outdoor heated swimming pool, the sensory garden, a patio and barbecue area. All usual community based amenities and provisions in Colchester, Braintree, Clacton and Maldon are within easy access by our cars and mini busses or by public transport.

Most clients attend Day Services and colleges. Transport is provided or they are supported in using public transport to promote independence and build on their skills and experiences. Evening and weekend activities are arranged in small groups or on an individual basis, and clients attend join social clubs, visit places of interest, go to local restaurants and public houses and can participate in religious services if they request to do so. Staff support is always available for clients for all these activities.

Colchester Staff

Cedar has four to five staff on duty from 7.00am to 10.00pm; Allocated 1.1 staffing is in addition to this ratio. Cedar also has two waking staff with an Assistant Manager and Registered Manager on site during Office hours. Birch has two to three staff some on 1.1 also supported by an Assistant Manager and Registered Manager. It has one waking staff. The organisation always has two Managers on-call at any one time. Each resident has a Keyworker who has particular responsibility for attending to and coordinating their individual needs and liaising with relatives and friends. (Please note that we do not provide nursing care.) 

If you are interested in further information, would like to talk to an Assistant or Registered Manager arrange a visit or a Care Management Assessment, we will be pleased to talk with you.