Children first came in 1968 as parents were having to travel long distances for medical support. Colton ward (named after Mr Arthur Colton) was converted to take 20 youngsters with varying disabilities to give parents a break from caring for their mentally handicapped child. After much fundraising, a hydrotherapy pool was added later.
During the day most of the children went to Fairlawn School in Wellingborough.
Later on, the government policy was to try to de-institutionalise the care of the handicapped by moving them out into the community. Two purpose-built bungalows were built in the grounds of the Hospital to cater for the children from Colton ward and provide a 'homely' atmosphere. The children went to The Squirrels on The Drive, and the young adults to The Martens on the Upper Drive.