steps to independence

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Fairfield Farm Trust provides support for young adults aged between 16 and 25 with learning difficulties. Our programmes are based around the individual needs of each young person, enabling them to take the next steps into independent living.

STEPs to independence is an essential program developed specifically for young adults facing unique challenges as they prepare for their transition to independence. The program offers a supported living experience in college houses.

  • Learn how to plan, prepare and cook meals in order to manage and maintain nutrition. 
  • Learn how to complete household shopping within a budget. 
  • Learn how to manage personal finances safely.
  • Learn how to maintain and strengthen knowledge and skills in respect of personal care and health. 
  • Learn how to maintain a habitable home environment
  • Learn how to make use of the home safely
  • Learn how to maintain relationships with families and develop relationships with friends.
  • Access and engage in work (Which could lead to paid employment), training or volunteering.
  • Make use of services and facilities within the local community.
  • Learn how to access the community safely –  road crossing, using public transport and reading timetables.   
  • Learn how to budget for, plan and book a holiday. 
  • Learn about tenancy agreements before transition into independent living. 
  • Receive full support to transition into supported living. 

The STEPs to Independence programme is available from 1 day through to full time, and is built around the requirements and needs of individuals.

Support in our facilities 

  • Qualified and experienced team of support staff
  • Support for all young people based on support needs
  • Sleep in support for all residents

What our residents say…

I love it here because I have fun and I have banter with my mates and staff.  I am learning to be independent so I can have my own place in Dorset. I have a paid job now which staff helped me to get, and I am learning how to take care of myself. 



Henry signed that he likes being here and is happy that he is now making friends.



I love being here because of the happy people, my friends and my staff.


I love it here because I am learning to be independent. I don’t have much confidence to do things on my own and now it’s all getting better because I am on the STEPS programme, and I am feeling braver. I like learning how to use the bus (public) safely and I like being with my friends. 


Independent Living

Here are some of the skills that our residents would learn throughout the STEPs programme.

  • Undertake household tasks
  • Undertake personal care tasks
  • Manage their personal allowance and use a bank account
  • Household budgeting, shopping within a budget
  • Manage household bills
  • Maintain their house and garden at to a standard which is acceptable to a landlord
  • Road crossing and independent travel, using public transport and reading timetables
  • Skills required to be ‘home alone’ safely

A bit more about us…


Health and Community Inclusion

Here are some examples of ways our residents learn about their health and getting the most out of the community. 

  • Understand the importance of a healthy diet
  • Understand the importance of taking regular exercise and access local facilities
  • Understand his/her health needs, recognising when they are unwell and in taking medication
  • Support to make and attend any medical appointments they may need
  • Explore leisure and social options 
  • Support in catching up with old friends or joining new clubs
  • Understand local area and available facilities

What people say…

We had the pleasure of working with Sarah Talmash who was easy to contact, professional, and who knew the resident in great depth.

We were particularly impressed with the lengths Fairfield Farm made in terms of functional analysis and considerations around all aspects of the resident’s environment and routine that would trigger aspects of challenging behaviour. They were able to support the individual through a difficult time by removing the triggers and bolstering the protective factors to keep them happy and safe. Alongside this, additional psychology support was arranged privately, which has been very beneficial.

In our experience, we rarely see a provision as dedicated and as conscientious, who invest so much time and care into their residents.

Kane & Jo from LDWISS

I just wanted to reiterate how pleased I am with the progress that George has made at college and on the Steps programme at Fairfield.  What a different young person from a year ago!  It is clear that George has benefited greatly from the support he has on the Steps programme.  

C. Turner


Just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did for Max on Friday. 

 He has been wanting to go to Longleat for a long time, so the efforts you made to ensure he didn’t miss the trip on his birthday are really very much appreciated.  I think you definitely went the extra mile on Friday to make sure he had a good day – and the photographs of him grinning from ear to ear are worth gold to us. 

Jan & Reg

It is so reassuring to know that the team are looking out for Mitch in the same way I would, and this illustrates the excellent relationship you have built with both Mitch and myself.  It is clear to see that Mitch’s needs are being actively recognised and the solutions on how he can overcome any obstacles are being nurtured in a sensitive and considerate way. Thank you for all you are doing. 



We may have our occasional issues and niggles and things might not always go right but John and I completely believe in both Fairfield College and particularly the transition to independent living using the Fairfield houses. It is an excellent system and for people such as James who have never really had a social life with others their own age, it is a fantastic way to introduce them to the trials and tribulations of living with others and what lies ahead. We have already seen huge improvements in many areas of James’s development which we attribute to the hard work of the care staff and yourself.

H. Thorpe


We asked residents at our houses how they feel about living in Fairfield Farm College houses, and about the skills they’re developing. We also found out the things they like and dis-like, with an aim to improve our offerings.

Get in touch with our care team to discuss your application for the STEPs programme. For reference here are our assumptions when processing your application.

  • Young people will have a bus pass ‘with companion’ for travel training purposes
  • Young people will need their own Bank account, cash point/debit card and approximately £25 per week which they can access from the account for their personal spending
  • All prices quoted include all refreshments and meals in the house as well as transport in mini-buses to activities. It does not include refreshments or entrance fees during social activities.

Get in touch…

CALL: 01373 866068


WRITE: Care Team, Fairfield Farm College, 43 High St, Dilton Marsh, Westbury, BA13 4DL

Tanya Takle – Registered Manager

Sarah Talmash – Care Manager

Tom Ratcliffe – Deputy Care Manager