Hat-trick of outstanding reports for staff at home

Staff at at Marshfields childrens home celebrate a hat-trick outstanding Ofsted imspections. From le

Staff at at Marshfields childrens home celebrate a hat-trick outstanding Ofsted imspections. From left, Assistant Manager Claire Pooley, Georgie Taylor, Anne Sayell, Shan Hunter, Heather Rose and Charlotte Hillard. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Staff at a west Norfolk children's home – which has secured a hat-trick of outstanding Ofsted inspections –pride themselves on being unlike most children's homes you might have visited.

It's so different that staff would rather it was not called a children's home at all.

In the Ofsted report, Marshfields in West Lynn received praise across the board for its quality of care, children's achievements and leadership and management.

About 36 children aged from five to 18 stay at the home run by Norfolk County Council.

The home provides short breaks for up to four children at a time and caters for young people with a range of disabilities and needs.

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About 37 staff look after the children and assistant manager Claire Pooley said: 'We try to make it really homely.

'Parents say it's different to what they expected.

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'We don't call it a children's home – instead, we say we provide a short break for children.

'For some of the children aged 14 or 15 it's like a long sleepover. What also makes Marshfields is the committed team of staff, for whom it's not just a job.'

Many of the children that stay over attend Churchill Park School in Lynn during the day, but others come from as far away as Sheringham.

The four bedrooms at the home are done up for each individual child to match their personalities.

At present, one of the boys likes Bob the Builder so his room is decorated with that, while one girl likes pink and another likes One Direction, whose photographs adorn her room. The home's team manager Nicola King said they were already looking at how to further develop services over the next year.

Inspectors found that young people who stayed at the home received a boost in their independence and confidence, and had access to opportunities they might not otherwise enjoy.

Have you got a west Norfolk success story to tell us about? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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