Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Strode Park Foundation Holiday Bungalows

Before I started working with my current client – J - I had been told that she was getting some renovations done on her house and that while they were being completed J would go into respite care, and I would be ‘jobless’ for a couple of weeks. While we didn’t have a start date, I had been told from the beginning that it would be ‘any time now’. Apparently J had been told that the work would be completed in May. Note that I started with J in May! So, we kind of expected the work to be started within the next couple of weeks. As time went on it became apparent that ‘any time now’, didn’t really mean that.

In the meantime J and I looked into places that she could stay. There was one particular place that she was fairly keen to stay, as it was ‘close’ to her mum’s (although, it wasn’t much closer than where she actually lives). Then some bright spark Smile with tongue out got the idea of looking into accessible holiday accommodation. This would save time/effort taking the money that goes into paying me out of ENA and into the respite care, and I would still be getting paid. It also had the added bonus that Jo would be with a carer that she is familiar with and knows her routine, as well as the freedom that comes from not relying on care staff that are also caring for others.

I found a couple of accommodation places, but by far the one that seemed the most inclusive and value for money was the  Strode Park Foundation Holiday Bungalows, especially as the low season price was £300 per week, for up to 4 people! This is how much extra J would have been looking at to go into respite care anyway, so it seemed like the perfect solution! Well FINALLY we got a date, and if you have been reading along, it gave us just enough time to go on our 2 week ‘holiday’ and get back for me to give handover, and go on my Xmas holidays Smile


Strode Park Foundation is a charity that offers services for people with disabilities. They include nursing care, rehabilitation, lifeskills training, day care, and of course the holiday bungalows. The park is set in 14 acres of land, with gardens, a pond, woodland, and an open air theatre (unfortunately they only have events during the summer months, although there was a Xmas market held on the 2nd Dec). The bungalows are fully accessible with 2 bedrooms, each with 2 beds, all connected by a track ceiling hoist to the bathroom. Even the dining table is height adjustable – which J has enjoyed using!! Especially during the low season the Bungalows are GREAT value for money, but they do go up considerably in summer (£700+/week). But I am definitely impressed with bungalows and so is J (she was almost speechless she was so impressed!), which is the main thing. They also offer midweek and weekend holidays.

The bungalows are located in Herne, Kent. There are many things to see close by that provide nice day trips out, including: Canterbury, Wildwood nature reserve, Herne Bay, and Whitstable. There is also a garden centre with a nice cafe, and a carvery which offers roast meat and all you can eat veg for £3.95!

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Bedroom 1, with two height adjustable beds, and bedroom 2 with standard beds and mattresses. Generous space in the wardrobes and spare blankets/set of bedding for the sofa bed, so can actually fit more than 4 people. And for people who book for more than 1 week (like we did) they come and change the bed sheets for you (bonus!!).

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Hoist turntable, which means you can be hoisted from either room to the the bathroom (or I suppose between rooms). The hoist continues straight to the toilet, which has been good practice for J when she gets her new track hoist straight to her new toilet!

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The fully functional kitchen, with adjustable table, and family room. Dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, cleaning products, toilet paper (obviously for the bathroom) are all included in the price too.

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A spacious patio, with outside table and chairs, and a covered car port. The view from bed 2 of the main house.

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There is a short woodland path, and a duck pond on the grounds. The duck pond is right out the front window of the bungalow.

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The main house, and pond in the gardens.

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Overall, Strode Park Foundation Holiday Bungalows are a great place to stay, and J gives it a rating of 10/10!! I found my bed a little hard to sleep on, and the mattress isn’t that great a quality, as I could feel all the springs in it, but overall it is worthy of a 9.5/10, especially during the low season, as the value for money is unbeatable Smile