Project information

Stephen's Ark

Children's respite is needed now more than ever. The refurbishment of Stephen's Ark will allow it to be more accessible and enable us to support more families and carers of children and young people with severe and profound learning disabilities.

July 2017 - October 2017

Charity information: Andover and District Mencap

Andover and District Mencap logo
  • Need


    Stephen’s Ark currently has 5 bedrooms with only one of those being fully accessible which does not reflect the high standards of our short breaks scheme.
    There is a regional shortage of overnight respite care for children with spaces not always readily available, we seek to bridge that gap with the building of a new state of the art respite home for children with learning disabilities.


    Stephen’s Ark will provide a bespoke and purpose built home for children with learning disabilities and severe and profound disabilities. It has been designed to meet the specialist needs of the individuals who access the facility and includes state of the art technology to assist the staff who work there.
    The development will provide a highly attractive option for families and aims to address the shortage of accessible respite care.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improving the experience of the families and children through the provision of new facilities


    » Inclusion of state of the art technology such as ceiling track hoists, eyegaze technology, inclusive bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms

    What success will look like

    Improvement in independence skills will be measured and assessed at regular intervals through staff feedback.

    Aim 2

    Increase the capacity of Stephen’s Ark to 96 children per month


    » Stephen’s Ark will be built all on one level with widened doors, ensuring that the whole house is fully accessible

    What success will look like

    Measuring usage of the facility and the number of recommendations from local authorities.

    Aim 3

    Provide emergency placements for children in need of respite


    » Work in partnership with local authorities to prepare and plan for emergency respite care

    What success will look like

    With the increased capacity we can take on emergency referrals at shorter notice and can be more inclusive meeting a multitude of differing needs.

  • Impact


    Stephen’s Ark respite care will not only provide long lasting social benefits for the children and families who access our services, but we will ensure it forms an important part of family life, providing much needed respite for parents from their busy care duties.
    The project will play a huge part in alleviating the enormous pressure on the social care sector within Hampshire and Wiltshire.


    The development is part of Andover and District Mencap’s care and support programme which fully accesses the risks and benefits of delivering short breaks to children with learning disabilities. Andover and District Mencap has received planning permission and contactors have been sourced using EU compliant tender processes.


    Donors will receive personalised reports and other bespoke communications about the progress of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £179,804

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £140,868 Construction Costs General build and construction costs
      £10,000 Inclusive Kitchens Two inclusive kitchens to promote Independence and life skills
      £13,650 Bathrooms Two inclusive bathrooms/wetrooms
      £3,995 Plasma Screen Provides learning through stimulating & engaging gaming environments
      £7,995 Mobile Magic Carpet Users can play with and control simply by moving on or over the projected image
      £3,296 Musii Enables participants of all abilities to make music and colour through touch and movement

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Lloyd's Bank £149,804 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Stephen’s Ark is a short walk away from Andover town centre. It’s situated in a quiet residential area set up to replicate a family home environment.
    Andover and District Mencap has a proven track record of excellent care and support to children and families affected by learning disabilities and is a major service provider to Hampshire County Council. It offers day and overnight care to some of the most vulnerable children in our society.


    The project will benefit children and families affected by learning disabilities and severe and profound disabilities hugely, giving them a bespoke, purpose built facility to meet their ever changing and complex needs. As such, Stephen’s Ark represents a major investment by Andover and District Mencap for the future of local social care provision.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are recognised as an excellent provider of care and support to families and have robust relationships with local authorities. We have been providing this service for the past 21 years to families within Hampshire and Wiltshire, and we wish to continue this provision to support more children and young people with learning disabilities for future generations.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chris Dixon (CEO)

    Chris Dixon is the CEO of Andover and District Mencap and project lead. His drive and determination are key to this projects aims.

    Oliver Huppertz (Trustee)

    He brings with him a wealth of knowledge within the FMCG sector and business consultancy and has worked extensively within the third sector