News Archives

Christmas Lights

December 6th, 2016

Check out our wonderful Head Office Christmas Window display, designed and created by the very clever Karen Green, our Accounts Assistant, for the Coleford Christmas Window competition. Merry Christmas!





Ofsted success!

September 20th, 2016

We are so thrilled that our home at The Squirrels was judged as being 'Outstanding' following its recent Ofsted Inspection. Huge congratulations to the staff team and residents, who have worked so hard to make their home the wonderful place that it is.


Wild Steps Project

September 16th, 2016

Following their award of £500 from 'The Grow Wild Youth Awards' in April, our Service Users have been working hard to create a wildflower garden as part of their 'Wild Steps' project. They've sown wild flower seeds and built raised beds to grow native wild flowers and native wild bulb plants in. The green-fingered team received a certificate this week in recognition of all their hard work.



Great news from the CQC!

August 15, 2016

Our Domiciliary Care Service and our homes at Market Place and Chapel View have all been inspected by the CQC in the last few months and we are delighted that they have all been awarded a rating of 'Good'. You can click the links below to read their CQC reports:

Domiciliary Care CQC Report

Market Place CQC Report

Chapel View CQC Report

Caught on camera ....

May 14th, 2016

We were treated to a visit from this lovely young deer at one of our homes today.



Life is still so good ....

April 19th, 2016

Click the picture below to read this wonderful poem, written by a lady who uses our DomiciliaryCare Support Services:




Grow Wild!

Posted by Julia on April 5th, 2016


The ‘Grow Wild Youth Awards’ recently held a competition to apply for funding to create a wild flower project. With some brilliant creative input from some of our young people, we applied for the funding and designed a plan for a project, which would include making a wild flower garden at our allotment site in Staunton and also creating some giant pieces of artwork to display locally to help inform people about native wild flowers. We have been thrilled to hear that our application was successful and we are going to be awarded £500 for our project!! We’d love everyone to be involved in the ‘Wild Steps’ project … watch this space!


Social Care Commitment Week

Posted by Julia on December 11th, 2015

At Step-a-Side we are proud to have signed up to the Social Care Commitment and to be supporting Social Care Commitment week this week.

SCC Logo

The Social Care Commitment is a promise made by people working in care to give the best care and support possible and ensures that everyone is working towards delivering high quality care.

Click the link to read more about this excellent initiative: The Social Care Commitment.

Our Rugby Star!

Posted by Julia on October 26th, 2015

After securing some superb wins playing for her local rugby club, we are thrilled that one of our young people has been selected for the County Trials! She's going to be getting down to some serious training in the coming months and we're looking forward to watching some exciting games!

Recognition of Education Support

Posted by Julia on September 15th, 2015

Our team at 'The Squirrels' received some great news from Gloucestershire County Council's Virtual School - having been recognised as making 'a substantial contribution to supporting' school and learning and nominated as a carer who "makes the difference".

Jane Featherstone, Head Teacher of the Virtual School, said: 'I have been impressed reading through some of the comments that have come in from the schools, and it is fair to say that you have been recognised for making a significant difference to your child's life and promoting their education'.

Jane went on to say: 'thank you for continuing to support your child with their learning. It makes so much difference if they feel a sense of success at school and this is reinforced at home'.

Congratulations to the Squirrels team! 

G.C.S.E. Success!

Posted by Julia on August 24th, 2015


Huge congratulations to one of our residents who received excellent G.C.S.E. results news last week - achieving G.C.S.E.s in Maths, Science and English. A great result after all the hard work; this young person is looking forward to starting a college course in September. Well done!

We need you!

Posted by Julia on July 23rd, 2015

We're looking for Service Users to join our allotment committee. If you would like to grow your own fruit and vegetables and make a profit too, give us a ring at Head Office on: 01594 501230! 


Most Helpful Person

Posted by Julia on July 8th, 2015

Following on from her brilliant achievement of runner up at the GCPA Care Awards in May, we are delighted that, following a staff vote at our recent AGM, Tracy Bedford, our Domiciliary Care Manager, has been declared 'Most Helpful Member of Staff'. Well done Tracy and thank you for all your hard work!

The GCPA Care Awards 2015

Posted by Julia on May 11th, 2015

We are delighted to announce that our Domiciliary Care Manager, Tracy Bedford, has been selected as a finalist in the Gloucestershire Care Providers Association Care Awards 2015! The Care Awards are a celebration of the achievements and success of Gloucestershire's Care Providers and Tracy is a finalist in the Aspiring Leadership Award category. Huge congratulations to Tracy, who will be attending the Awards Ceremony on 20th May at the world famous Cheltenham Racecourse - a well-deserved recognition of all her hard work!



Child Protection Week

Posted by Julia on March 6th, 2015

It's Child Protection Week at Step-a-Side from 9th to 13th March. Staff will have the opportunity to refresh themselves with our Child Protection policies and share their ideas for how these can be added to or improved, with a chance to win a prize in our raffle draw! Our children and young people will also be encouraged to share their ideas and enter a competition to design a logo for our Anti-bullying Campaign, with some great prizes for the winner and runner up!


Check out our new Facebook Page!

Posted by Julia on February 27th, 2015

Check out Step-a-Side's new Facebook page! Click the link below to 'like' the page and keep up to date with all our latest news. 



Competition Winners!

Posted by Julia on January 2nd, 2015

Thank you to everyone who entered our E-Safety Poster competition and many congratulations to the winner (LD) and runner up (EW), who both produced wonderful posters! You can see their entries by clicking the links below:

winner  Runner Up 


Happy E-Safety Week!

Posted by Julia on December 1st, 2014

It's 'E-Safety Week' this week at Step-A-Side. We've got some handy E-Safety guides for our Staff and Service Users to use - click the relevant link below to download your copy .....

   Staff Guide         Service Users Guide    

Step-a-Side E-Safety Week

Posted by Julia on November 24th, 2014

We want to make sure that our residents and staff know how to stay safe on-line and are holding a 'Step-A-Side E-Safety Week' from 1 - 5 December. We'll be sharing a wealth of E-Safety information with everyone and we're also holding an E-Safety poster competition, with some great prizes for the winners and runners up! 


To infinity and beyond!

Posted by Julia on November 7th, 2014

We were delighted to have BT Infinity installed at our Head Office today. We were a bit worried about the engineer though, who left us to climb a pole at 10.30 a.m. and wasn't seen again for the next 4 hours! Luckily he was found safe and well outside the Chinese Take Away - although looking a little bit frazzled! Sue Jobson pointed him in the right direction and later confirmed that 'Step-A-Side have finally joined the fibre broad band revolution!' So we're all set up now to go to 'infinity and beyond' and the engineer has headed to the pub, for a well earned beer!

Refreshing computer skills

Posted by Julia on October 3rd, 2014

We've introduced a range of computer skills courses at Step-A-Side. Staff keen to update or refresh their skills can undertake training in using Emails, Excel and Word Processing. The training is provided in our Head Office and staff can take an information pack away with them and receive further support in their workplace if they wish. Another string for our skilled team's bow!

Computer Books


Step-A-Side Stars!

Posted by Julia on October 2nd, 2014

Don't miss a Medley of Musical Magic 2 this month - starring some familiar faces from Step-A-Side!  Presented by the Forest Musical Society, the show features songs from the Sound of Music, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Blues Brothers, Miss Saigon, Rock of Ages, Jersey Boys, Matilda and many more! The show is running at Lydney Town Hall on 23 and 24 October at 7.30 pm and 25 October at 2.30 and 7.30 pm. Ticket Prices are £8.00 for Adults and £6.00 for Senior Citizens and Under 16s. Tickets available on the door or from Crazy Occasions in Lydney, Forest Book Shop in Coleford and the Forester Offices in Cinderford. Last year's show was brilliant and this year's promises to be even better!

Musical Magic 2

Good Luck Lise!

Posted by Julia on September 18, 2014

Step-A-Side RSW Lise Davis is taking part in the Forest of Dean Half Marathon on 28 September. The 13 mile course takes runners though a multi-terrain route of forest trails and includes some interesting hill challenges! The annual event is organised by the Royal Forest of Dean Rotary Club and proceeds support both local and national charities. Lise has been training hard for the run and everyone at Step-A-Side wishes her the very best of luck. Go Lise Go!

Lise and the Half Marathon

Meet the Boar ...

Posted by Julia on September 16th, 2014

We've had a surprise visitor in one of our gardens this week. He's been enjoying rootling around in the lawn and exploring the flower beds. We're hoping we can talk him into digging us a nice new vegetable patch!

Meet the Boar

 The Boar

Boar in the Garden

 Summer Fun

 Posted by Julia on September 1st, 2014


Children from our Squirrels and Holly Tuft homes have enjoyed a busy summer. They had a brilliant day out with the Severn Area Rescue Association, taking part in lots of exciting activities. They also spent a week holidaying in Brean Sands and Butlins, going out every night to dance in the club! Other activities have included visits to Digger Land, Monster Trucks, Wookey Hole and a Theme Park. Lots of fun was had by all!

Click here to read all about LD's brilliant Butlins holiday.


Exciting Times!

Posted by Mark on August 19th, 2014

Step-A-Side have been a long term Framework provider of residential children's services for the 'Children’s Commissioning Consortium Cymru' (4C’s).  The 4C’s is a partnership of authorities across Wales who work together to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people and achieve value for money through working together collaboratively.

In an effort to enhance the services that we provide to these authorities, within Wales, we have taken ownership of a new residential home in South East Wales, which we intend to suitably modify and register for the purpose of providing the highest quality residential services for disabled children.

Exciting times - we will keep you posted ! 

Rachel Gets Married!

Posted by Mark on June 1st, 2012

The weather held off and the sun shone on Saturday 5th May 2012 for Rachel and Julian's Wedding Day. They were married at Staunton Church at 11.30am and the festivities continued on to The White Horse pub in Staunton and then to the marquee set out beautifully in the village. Rachel looked absolutely stunning, Julian handsome and their son Arthur very sweet. We wish them the best of happiness for the future.

Hot off the press!

Posted by Mark on May 31st, 2012

The service users of Step a Side Care are very pleased to have published the first edition of 'A Step in Time', their brand new newsletter.

The recently established news team wanted to create a quarterly newsletter to provide people in the local area with information that they have found exciting or interesting, as well as other Step-A-Side related information.

The news team currently comprises of four journalists who are all residents with Step-A-Side care, they would like to know your thoughts on their newsletter and are happy to receive article requests from you.
If you would like more information on the newsletter email Mark on

Social skills group starts again

Posted by Mark on March 1st, 2012

The hugely successful 'Social skills group' has begun again this year, the sessions actively encourage young people to interact with our psychology team which is run by Beth Key (DGF Psychology).

The aim of these sessions is to provide an open, fun and friendly environment for our service users in a relaxed setting where they can gain valuable life skills among close friends and family. Beth has worked alongside the Step-A-Side team for nearly a decade and thoroughly enjoys the sessions, her wealth of knowledge and understanding means all parties involved get the most out of the meetings.

The group is by no means limited to the Step-A-Side users and we welcome anybody who is interested, if you would like to be involved please contact Mark on 07887561314 or email

New look for "The Squirrels"

Posted by Mark on February 1st, 2012

Improvements and alterations have been completed at our residential home "The Squirrels" just in time for spring. The appeal of the idyllic home has grown further as it has become more accessible for wheelchair users with improved ground floor access and en-suite wet rooms for those users. The work was undertaken by Forest of Dean based 'Junction' builders who have worked with us on projects before and always come up trumps.
If you are interested in finding out more about our newly improved residential home please contact Mark on 07887561314 or

Step-A-Side branches out ....

Posted by Mark on January 24th, 2012 

Step-A-Side have been recognised in a framework agreement with Gloucester, Wiltshire, North East Somerset, Swindon, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City, as an approved provider of residential children's services, re-affirming Step-A-Side as a regional provider of choice!

Race for life – the Step-A-Side team

Posted on September 5th, 2011

On September 5th five members of the step a side team took part in the Newport 5km Race for Life, which raises funds for breast cancer research. The girls did a marvellous job supporting the great cause and adding another event to the Step-A-Side charity calendar.
Rachel Carwardine, Liz Carwardine, Sue Jobson, Sue Parker, Larissa Wood and Joy Evans all took part in the event and between them all raised over £500. Well done girls a fantastic way to show our support for a life changing cause.

Step-A-Side psychology team expands

Posted by Mark on September 1st, 2011

Beth Key from DGF psychology has been working with the Step-A-Side team for nearly ten years and has followed us throughout our expansion, now that there is such high demand for psychology support services they have enlisted the assistance of Psychology Assistant Jo Green, to support Beth in her work.

Jo will be actively working with our service users to ensure they get the most out of their Step-A-Side experience; we are really looking forwards to future progress with Jo. If you see her working with our teams be sure to introduce yourself to her, maybe over a cup of tea?

"The Squirrels" welcome their new Manager

Posted by Mark on July 30th, 2011

No, not the cute woodland creatures, but Step-A-Side's flagship children's home, set deep within the Forest of Dean countryside welcomes Matthew Underhill "Maps" (he has a geography degree!) with open arms to the team.

Maps will oversee the day-to-day care of the children using the services and ensure that they are supported with the best care possible while maintaining the friendly, relaxed atmosphere already established within the home.

Mark Carwardine has been the registered Ofsted manager of the home since the service opened in 2003 and is pleased to have found the right person to hand the responsibility to, "the care of all people entrusted to us is of paramount importance and while I will miss spending the majority of my time here I know the users are in the very best of hands. It also means that when Daisy and I visit we can spend time in the garden playing with the children and not in the office!"

'Willow-side' improves accessibility

Posted by Mark on July 15th 2011

Our supported living service for younger adults has undergone accessibility improvements to ensure free access for disabled users. Local builders, who are familiar with the specialist provisions required by the services we offer, undertook the improvement project.

The new work means that wheelchair users will have improved access to the building and en-suite wet rooms on the ground floor.

Improved freedom for disabled users

Posted by Mark on June 1st, 2011

The acquisition of two new wheelchair friendly vehicles means that disabled children and young people will have greater freedom to go where they like with nothing standing in the way. The new vehicles offer staff the opportunity to take several service users to events around the Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire without having to arrange for alternative specialist transport.
Be sure to give us a wave if you see our vans about the Forest!