The Jewish charity Norwood is to relinquish control of operations at its flagship Ravenswood Village site in Berkshire, where 96 adults with learning disabilities, complex needs and autism are supported.
Trustees at the communal institution, whose official name is Norwood Ravenswood, provisionally agreed that care and support of residents would pass to a new provider, while promising “the continued delivery of a Jewish way of life for residents”.
Windsor-based Salutem Healthcare Group, established six years ago, will take over from Norwood following an extensive consultation period with residents, staff, and families that began in April 2021.
“Having completed a process of initial due diligence on Salutem, the board of trustees collectively felt that pursuing this option was in the best interests of Ravenswood’s residents and staff,” said Norwood chair Neville Kahn.
Upon taking over from former chair David Ereira in 2018, Kahn said Norwood was “committed in its duty to meet the future needs of our community,” adding: “We are focused on the development of Ravenswood village.”
At the time, it was looking to develop the site alongside a development partner with the aim of securing the future of the village, but in May 2020 the local authority refused planning permission and the development partner withdrew.
In reaching its decision, Norwood cited “declining referrals, a lack of financial sustainability, and changes in best practice policy regarding the care of people with learning disabilities and autism”.
Norwood has run Ravenswood since 1996. Subject to negotiations, it will transfer to Salutem “within the next 8-12 months”, it said. Salutem “would operate all residential care and supported living services, in order to ensure that the current residents can remain living at the much-loved site”.
Norwood said it would “serve in an ongoing advisory role to support the continued delivery of a Jewish way of life for residents”, with Kahn praising Salutem’s “depth of experience of providing care and support for people with learning disabilities and autism”.
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