SCAT exists to support Somerset Court which was the first specialist centre for people with autism in the UK. Living here gives adults with autism the opportunity to lead fulfilling and increasingly independent lives in a beautiful environment. It is owned and run by the National Autistic Society (NAS). At the 2015 AGM, the membership voted to extend the objects to the nearby NAS residential facility called Fearnery House.


SCAT does not act as an advocate on behalf of residents, parents or other interested parties - it is a charity to assist the residents and emphatically, is not a parents representation group


Environment and facilities

Somerset Court is set in 26 acres of land, adjacent to the village of Brent Knoll and near the seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea. Because it is also home to the regional NAS day services, there is plenty of activity on site: everyone living here has access to all the workshops, learning and leisure facilities.

There are seven purpose-built houses at Somerset Court, which enable people to live ordinary day-to-day lives in small groups, with the help of our specialist staff. Everyone has their own bedroom and we encourage them to make their rooms their own by choosing the decor and accessories. In each house there are the facilities you would find in any household: a PC, music, games and puzzles. People share the kitchen, living room and dining room, coming together for meals and activities such as arts and crafts.

The seven houses at Somerset Court are: 

Greatwood and Costwold - The newly-built homes each offer a mix of four-person shared living and two individual flats. All bedrooms have en-suite facilities.

Porlock - Originally a cottage, Porlock was renovated and extended to create a comfortable modern home with seven of the bedrooms en-suite.

Blackdown, Knoll and Lakeside - Each of these bungalows are purpose-built, largely from SCAT funding, and all the homes have their own shared living areas, such as lounge, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and garden. 

Leisure and learning activities

At Somerset Court the aim is for people to gain in confidence and independence and to build their social and communication skills. To help each person to thrive and to develop their full potential we create tailor-made programmes of activities. These reflect people’s interests and needs, and are carefully structured and balanced to give a mix of learning and leisure.

At home, each person has their own timetable which encourages them to become more self-sufficient. It includes household chores such as shopping, cooking and independent living skills, and leisure activities such as visiting the pub, bowling or going for a walk. People may also choose to do art and craft activities, cooking, IT, music therapy and aroma therapy.

Full use is made of the Somerset Court day service on the doorstep. Amongst other things, residents can take courses, use the sports facilities, and work in the woodwork shop, garden centre or creative studio, making high-quality products for sale.

People who live at Somersert Court also enjoy a wide range of leisure and vocational activities at the NAS Lynx resource centre in 
Weston-super-Mare, and take day and evening courses at nearby Bridgewater College.




Somerset Court - main building

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