The York Road Project – a collaboration between Chichester College and the Aldingbourne Trust - is in the running for the ‘Provision of the Year’ category at the nasen (National Association of Special Education Needs) awards ceremony later this month.
The awards celebrate and recognise projects which benefit children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities.
The York Road Project has been designed to help young people with learning disabilities to develop the skills and confidence they need to live independently in their local area.
Simon Brown, Head of Learning Support & Welfare at Chichester College, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a national award. It really recognised the hard work of many people who have made the York Road project a reality.
“This is a really fantastic, collaborative project that really puts the needs of local young people at the heart of what we’re doing.
“Through the York Road Project, we are working with a local charity – the Aldingbourne Trust – along with the local authority to ensure young people can continue to live in their local area in a purpose build, supported property, study at their local college and develop holistic, transferrable skills which will increase their independence.
“Everything they learn at college is reinforced at York Road and by helping them remain in the local area, they are learning in a familiar environment, whereas previously they may have gone out of county to a residential college or stayed at home.
“It has given young people the opportunity to stay in their local community, close to their families and friends, with the chance to study and progress into employment.
“So far, we have changed the lives of 10 young people in different ways – from being able to travel to college independently using public transport to learning how to cook and follow a budget. These are all important steps towards an independent future.”
Lu Dash, Head of Support at The Aldingbourne Trust said: ‘The Transition Service at York Road has become everything we had hoped for and more – what has surprised us the most is the degree of peer support that has emerged amongst the young people – who genuinely look out for one another. Seeing people grow and become confident young adults cannot fail to make an impact.’
The Nasen Awards will be held in London on Friday 18 October.