A traditional farmhouse at Moreton Morrell College has been transformed into a place where students with special educational needs can learn to live independently, thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council (WCC).
The White House was officially opened by Group Principal and CEO of WCG, Angela Joyce and Cllr Colin Hayfield, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Education & Learning from WCC.
WCG were awarded £292,375 from WCC to renovate and convert the existing farm buildings at Moreton Morrell College as an independent living and learning resource to teach life skills for supported living, employment skills, health and well being and social inclusion. The project – which was developed in response to the SEND Reform and Children and Families Act 2014 and from feedback from parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs – was designed as a hub to bring together the key agencies involved in successful transition for students from school to college and from further education to wider opportunities in adulthood.
The White House features:
- adjustable work tops, sink and cooker hob in the kitchen
- laundry room
- bathroom/wet room with a hoist
- Widened doors and wheelchair accessible slopes
- Dining room and living room/bed-sitting room to develop communal living skills
- Two bedrooms equipped to allow students to practice household management
- Conferencing facilities and extra classrooms to facilitate wider curriculum such as enterprise and work skills
WCG Supported Learning students from Leamington and Moreton Morrell use the White House, learning about budgeting, shopping, healthy lifestyle choices and independent living skills. Students on higher level courses working with WCG Inclusion Team access the House to develop work awareness, social inclusion, healthy lifestyles, personal safety and independent living skills.
Romy Dixon, Head of Supported Learning at WCG said, “The house is set up to give a real experience of domestic life but with some very special features and facilities to create a flexible learning environment that is accessible and structured around experiential learning. It is a fantastic place to learn and the students love it here.”
Cllr Colin Hayfield, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for education and learning, said: “Warwickshire County Council is committed to exploring and extending opportunities for learning to our most vulnerable residents. The facilities at the White House are now outstanding and the county council was pleased to support the excellent work that is taking place there.”
Luca Webster, 21, from Napton-on-the-Hill is on the Skillbuilder course. She said, “At the White House I learn independent living skills – such as shopping and cleaning – to prepare me for when I move into my own flat. The White House is in such a lovely setting out in the countryside and all the students really like coming here.”
WCG offers a range of supported learning courses. For more information go to www.wcg.ac.uk or call 0300 456 0049.