New facility for young people with learning difficulties

1 Oct 2013 @ 10.43 am
| News

Issued by City of York Council

Young people with learning difficulties in North Yorkshire will be able to get support and training to help them move into adulthood without having to go out of the county for the first time this autumn, thanks to a new purpose-built facility at Askham Bryan College.

The £600,000 independent living facility – Dentdale – has been joint-funded by the College and the Department for Education, as part of a bid secured by City of York Council.

The building will be used to provide independent living and work training for students aged 16-24 with severe learning difficulties and disabilities.

Learning programmes at Dentdale will add to an increasing range of options for these young people and have been developed by partners in York including Askham Bryan College, City of York Council, York College, York Leaning, Applefields, Danesgate Community and the Bluebuerry Academy.

The programmes will combine classroom and vocational learning, linked to Askham Bryan’s land-based specialism, with the development of independent living skills. Dentdale House also offers spaces for enterprise and business activity to support the development of work and life skills.

Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet member for Education, Children and Young People, City of York Council, said: “Dentdale is such and exciting and important opportunity, which will hugely improve the opportunities for some very vulnerable young people.”

Ade Brownlow , section leader adventure and outdoor living, Askham Bryan College, said: “The Dentdale project has been a great opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper and create a new facility.

“We have been involving people who will stay there, their families, trust staff and local organisations in the project to make sure the new service matches their needs and abilities. This new-build will help support young people in the region so they can lead fulfilling lives.”

John Thompson, Principal Adviser 14-19, City of York Council, explained: “The number of young people with severe learning difficulties and disabilities in York has increased significantly in recent years and they’ve previously had to go out of the county to receive independent living and employment support after leaving Applefields School.

“The new facility – the first of its kind in the city – has been created thanks to a strong partnership network in York. It will provide young people with the opportunity to develop their life and work skills in York, where they will ultimately live and work.

“As well as providing high quality training in an exceptional setting, it will also significantly reduce the unnecessary cost of sending young people on placements out of the area.”

The new facility will build further on Askham Bryan’s reputation for being a centre of excellence for its work with young people with disabilities: the College has recently been designated as a specialist centre for delivery of provision for students with autism*, providing opportunites for young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions from Applefields School and the Enhanced Resource Provision at Fulford School.


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