The Big House

The Big House provides overnight short breaks for children with a significant intellectual disability and associated behaviours that challenge. We are happy to consider children from within and outside of Nottinghamshire. 


The Big House accommodates 8 children who have a significant learning disability, combined with manifestations of challenging and complex behaviour.

Eligibility is assessed on these criteria:

  • the child should be of school age, up to 18 years old
  • the child will be attending their own school
  • parents/carers and children fully participate in the planning of all short breaks
  • the child is expected to be mobile but provision will be made for those who have some degree of difficulty with mobility and may have a high dependency need
  • the child is required to have a full assessment of need.

We are happy to consider children from within and outside of Nottinghamshire.

Within Nottinghamshire:

To receive an overnight short break a child must have an assessment of need carried out by a social worker from Nottinghamshire Children's Disability Service, usually in the form of a Child and Family Assessment. The social worker and their team manager may advocate for overnight short breaks and present the case before a panel of professionals who will decide if overnight short breaks are appropriate, at what level and at which home within Nottinghamshire, one of which could be The Big House.

Overnight short breaks will only be considered following Nottinghamshire’s graduated response. Please contact your social worker or speak to us to be put in touch with the social work team.

Outside Nottinghamshire:

We may accept children who meet our criteria for overnight short breaks from outside Nottinghamshire. The service must be agreed and funded, typically by the responsible local authority, and facilitated by a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Please contact your social worker in your local area or get in touch with us to discuss, by calling 01623 822453 or emailing .

Our vision

The Big House will be a place where children are safe and happy; a place where everyone who comes to stay receives high quality care, enjoys lots of new experiences and achieves positive outcomes. 

We operate within the philosophy of a non-oppressive approach. All staff will encourage this practice by actively: 

  • giving children assistance and support to understand and follow their racial, cultural, religious and linguistic background
  • allowing children to follow any requirement of dress, diet or daily routine relating to their race, religion or culture
  • helping children to understand and learn any elements of their background they feel is important to them


Children enjoy access to a range of social, recreational, play and leisure activities, both within the home and within the community. They are able to mix with friends and access stimulating opportunities to promote their development.

Our facilities

Our purpose-built home, completed in October 2015, is well-decorated and comfortable, with a large range of indoor activities and games for use by the children. We can accommodate up to 8 children at any time, and try to match children in peer groups for each stay.

We have an air-conditioned sensory room equipped with sensory activities, including a water bed, UV lighting, fibre optics, bubble tubes and music.

Outside, the grounds are extensive and include a large safe play area and a sensory cabin. There are lots of trees, shrubs and flower beds, as well as swings, a roundabout, cycles (and track) and equipment designed to challenge and improve dexterity and mobility.

All our meals are home-cooked on site, using the best fresh ingredients, offering lots of choice, and ensuring that all nutritional requirements are catered for.

Hear from our manager - Lynda Lever

"We have a child-focused team of qualified and experienced staff. We strive to understand and meet the needs of the children who come to us and to offer them a range of different activities."

Our other services

Short break settings can be a valuable and rewarding experience for children. To supplement this at The Big House we also offer these services:

  • Out-of-hours Helpline: The Big House provides a dedicated out-of-hours helpline offering information and support for all parents and carers of children with disabilities within Nottinghamshire. Our staff are sensitive and understanding and can offer not only practical advice but also a listening ear and emotional support.
  • Family Support Sessions: Our trained and experienced staff can also offer support within the family home to address particular areas of individual need, e.g. toileting, sleeping, communication, behavioural difficulties. This can be requested by the parent/carer or by the social worker, or be recommended by a review.
  • Garden & Play Facilities - Open to All: We have large gardens with lots of fun activities which we would like more children with disabilities to access. You can bring your child or community / school group in the day.
  • Sibling Groups: The Big House has started to host sibling groups. This is currently for siblings of children who receive a service from The Big House. However, we are hoping to extend this to all siblings of children with a disability within Nottinghamshire in the future.
  • Day Care & Education: Under certain circumstances we can provide day care or a base for education for a fixed length of time.
  • Coffee Mornings: The Big House hosts coffee mornings for parents and carers of children with a disability within Nottinghamshire. These are informal events where parents and carers can meet to discuss issues. We also invite guest speakers. 

Meeting Rooms

We have spaces within the Big House that can be used by professionals working within Nottinghamshire for meetings, workshops or 1:1 sessions.

Please contact us for more information on any of our services.

Join The Big House Buddies

The Big House Buddies is an independent registered charity which has been created to support children with a disability, their families and the wider community within Nottinghamshire.

Our aim is to provide financial assistance, which would not otherwise be provided by statutory authorities, which we can use to make a positive impact on the lives of children who have a disability, their families and the community in Nottinghamshire.

We hope The Big House Buddies is a charity that you feel able to support. If you need any further information about the charity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via

You can also find The Big House Buddies on Facebook

The Big House Buddies
Registered Charity Number: 1182459
Address: 108 Papplewick Lane, Hucknall, Nottingham, NG15 8EF

Directions/how to find us

The Big House is located in the village of Edwinstowe, near to Sherwood Forest, famous as the home of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, where the Major Oak can still be seen.

We are near lots of local amenities including: recreation centres, swimming pools, farm parks, horse riding centres, cinemas, youth clubs, theatres, fairgrounds, adventure playgrounds, bowling alleys, soft play areas and country parks, all within a 30 minute radius of the home.

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