Stephen's Ark respite facility is a hive of activity, offering a vital service to children and families in Andover and surrounding areas.

Our Respite Home Stephen’s Ark

Our Children’s Respite facility, Stephen’s Ark is 21 years old and offers a vital service to children and families within Hampshire and surrounding counties. Set up to replicate a home environment, it offers a rich environment for children and young people who require respite care and short breaks where our team of dedicated staff ensure no matter what, the needs of individual children are met.

We understand the challenges families face surrounding learning disabilities. Being Ofsted registered, we can provide overnight and day care for children aged between 3 and 18 years old, providing families much-needed respite from their busy care duties. The children we support currently have multiple and profound learning disabilities, including those with Autism, complex health needs and physical disabilities.

Overnight Stays

We can accommodate The overnight care is funded by the local authority and children need to be referred from their social worker to access this service.

Day Care

The day care is funded by HCC’s short breaks grant but we also need to charge a parental contribution. We have a small hardship grant (conditions apply) which can reduce the daily fee but these needs to be agreed with the Registered Manager in advance.

Activities at Stephen’s Ark

We have a wide range of outdoor play equipment for the use including a sand and water play, bikes, scooters and play tent ; we also have an extensive range of indoor toys, games and activities for every age and ability group.

Activities are planned by the staff on duty with the children and may include trips to the park, local shops, soft play areas and activities out of Andover as appropriate.

To find out more about what services we can offer, or to book a stay at Stephens Ark please contact Andover and District Mencap’s Children’s and Young People’s Manager Ami Turner on [email protected] or call on 01264 321840.


Stephen’s Ark is registered with Ofsted to provide respite care for children aged between 3 years – 18 years old, who have learning disabilities/ additional physical disabilities

Why it's important

The children who access Stephens Ark often come to us with severe and profound learning disabilities. Stephens Ark is not only a place for children to be themselves, it also allows parents some much needed respite from their busy care duties. 

Millie is one such child who receives respite from Stephen's Ark. Millie is a 15-year-old girl who has Downs Syndrome, speech and language delay and some health and mobility needs. She has no awareness of danger and requires close supervision when both in and out of the house.

She loves coming to Stephens Ark and interacting with the other children there. It allows her time to be with her friends and take part in her love of dancing, so there is always music and never a dull moment when she is with us. At home she is one of four children and lives with her mum and teenage brother, so the time that she spends with us is extremely beneficial, allowing her mother time to not just recharge her batteries but also spend time with her other children and their families.

Stephen’s Ark respite care will not only provide long lasting social benefits for the children, but the families who access our services, we will ensure it forms an important part of family life, providing much needed respite for parents from their busy care duties.

Stephen's Ark gives hope, support and opportunities to young children with a learning disability and their families. You can support Stephens Ark by clicking on the Donate button at the top of this page or, for other ways to support, please contact our fundraising team on 01264 321854. 

Andover and District Mencap

Enabling Choice & Independence

The Wellington Centre

Winchester Rd, Andover
Hampshire, SP10 2EG


Opening Hours

Monday to Friday, 9.00 – 17.00

General enquiries:

01264 321840
[email protected]

Children's Department