A CENTRE for autistic adults has celebrated the first anniversary of its new £1.5 million building.
A maple tree was planted in the grounds of The Maples in Tokers Green to mark both the occasion and a report by the Care Quality Commission which found the centre had met all required standards.
The Maples is run by Autism Spectrum Partners as part of the Disabilities Trust. It provides both supported and independent accommodation for adults with autism and Asperger syndrome.
About 75 family members and guests attended the ceremony, where South Oxfordshire District Council chairwoman Dorothy Brown planted the tree.
After a tour of the complex, Councillor Brown said: “The Maples is the most wonderful facility for people with autism and Asperger’s and the staff are wonderful people. The centre enables the residents to live independent lives and it must bring great happiness to be able to live in such fantastic and peaceful surroundings.”
Last year, the six-acre site in Dysons Wood was officially opened by television presenter Gabby Logan, who is vice-chairman of the trust.
There are 16 residents living in three bungalows with eight studio apartments with en-suite accommodation and cooking facilities as well as eight bedrooms with en-suites for those needing more support.
There are shared facilities including a dining room, laundrette, activities room, sensory garden and green gym. The new building replaced a three-storey Victorian building which had become outdated.
Barrie Oldham, chief executive of the Disabilities Trust, said: “The last year has been hugely successful. The service users have had a great year with many new opportunities and their quality of life is quite different.
“As a trust, the service users are at the centre of everything we do and their progress is hugely important to us.”
The centre has a team of specialist staff who provide speech, language, music and art therapy. There is also a holistic support service that allows residents to carry out tasks such as shopping.
Anna Headley, director of Autism Spectrum Partners, said she was delighted at the commission’s report, adding that it was “a really positive reflection on the staff and service users at the Maples”.