This Unique Hotel Employs a Full Staff of People With Autism

The Vault showcases the often hidden talent people with autism and learning difficulties possess.

Nov 15, 2016
Special Collections: THE ABILITY IN DISABILITY
The Vault supports people on the autism spectrum and those with learning disabilities

John Heron, the managing director of St Camillus Care Group with some of the team of The Vault Hotel in Gateshead. (St Camillus Care Group)

Perched above a tranquil river in Gateshead, in North East England, a special hotel called The Vault employs a full staff of people with autism and learning disabilities. The Vault, owned and operated by the St. Camillus Care Group, is one of the first hotels of its kind. The managing team of the hotel has extensive experience working with those with special needs, and is committed to providing opportunities for the staff to develop and grow, while also enabling them to have an active, social lifestyle. Anyone working at the hotel, receives the full and proper training they need to not only have legitimate work experience, but also to provide them with skills that encourage, develop, and support the workers to be their best - both personally and professionally.

“My driving passion is to offer people with autism and learning disabilities something different, but most importantly meaningful, that pushes the boundaries that have been placed around them by mainstream services,” Darren Wilson, The Vault’s director of housing, health and care told The Mighty. “We are immensely proud of the trainees we have worked with to date and their dedication and commitment validates our overall plan for the business.”

The facility is equipped to train 28 people per year as well as create connections with prospective employers in other potential work experiences, to help them further their careers and support their future independence. And that is just the beginning. Not only is The Vault staffed as such, they also are entirely accommodating to special needs travelers. The hotel takes into thoughtful consideration sensory sensitivities, specialized hotel room features, and dietary needs. The Vault empowers its staff with the ability to learn, work and thrive, and also pays the feeling forward to all who visit and stay at this unique place.

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ELIANNA BAR-EL, CONTRIBUTOR
Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.

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