AN OXFORDSHIRE charity which helps adults with learning disabilities live in shared houses has been ranked as one of the best in the country.

Wallingford-based Style Acre has this month been rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, putting in the top two per cent of adult social care services.

Inspectors said the service was 'exceptionally well-led' by a management team who were 'highly committed to ensuring people lived fulfilling lives'.

They also said the service was 'outstanding at empowering people to have as much control over their lives as possible and to achieve their maximum potential'.

The new year boost comes after eight Style Acre clients last year raised £2,000 on a 100km sponsored cycle/ run/ canoe.

Operation director Ben Lanes said “Being recognised as Outstanding is absolutely fantastic.

"We have a highly-committed and driven group of managers who lead our amazing teams of support workers, who think nothing of putting the needs and desires of the people we support before their own."

Style Acre helps about 80 people live in 35 homes around Oxfordshire and when the CQC last visited in 2015 it rated the service Good overall, the second-highest grade.

When inspectors visited some of the homes this time on November 2 and 7.

they noted that Mr Lanes was still the 'registered manager' with the CQC, but said he had managed to significantly improve the charity's work in that time.

In their report, published last week, they said: "The service has developed innovative ways to ensure people were involved at all levels in influencing the development and improvement of the service."

Referring to the conversations they had with service users and staff they said: "Without exception people spoke positively about their experience of the service and the successes they had been supported to achieve.

"It was clear the culture within the service valued the uniqueness of all individuals."

They praised the charity for helping clients take part in a wide range of activities tailored to their needs, and said there were 'many examples of people's lives being transformed'.

One tenant, Linda Windridge, endorsed all the inspectors found, saying afterwards: "Style Acre are just amazing."

Beverley Wetherburn added: "I love the staff and they love me."

Style Acre was founded by a group of parents in 1992 to secure the future of a residential home where their adult children were living.

The organisation now supports and employs more than 300 across Oxfordshire and runs a tea room at Savages garden centre in Blewbury.

In December it was crowned ‘Best Established Charity or Community Group’ in the 2017 Didcot First Business and Community Awards.