Care package to keep trial success going

SOME OF Wigan’s most severely disabled young people will be able to stay in the borough to get the care they need, thanks to a special school’s new programme.

Hope School and Hawkley Brook College, in Marus Bridge, will start a new programme of care for 19-25 year olds in September, having run a successful trial since Easter.

The young people will enjoy a wide range of sensory experiences, including music therapy, sessions in a hydrotherapy pool, rebound therapy using trampolines, sensory art and drama.

The school says the new programme will enable young people with serious learning difficulties to stay in the borough with their families and friends, and will not have to leave the area to seek similar programmes in residential care.

A group of five young people will start the programme, which will have its own building on the school and college’s site, in September.

The new provision complements the existing programmes being run by the school for older students with learning difficulties wishing to pursue vocational and academic courses post-16, which include links with Wigan and Leigh College, mainstream education institutions and horticulture courses run on site and at the Parkside community allotment in Golborne.

Assistant head Helen Leach said: “The students on the course have complex needs and difficulties, so we are providing experiences for them. It would be very difficult for them elsewhere.

“They will be able to stay until they are 25 for the first time, and the oldest student in the trial group is 20, so we are going to be working with them on a long-term basis.

“It’s a very broad curriculum and we are trying to make sure it’s not like college, it needs to be something else.”

The programme is set to begin in September this year at both schools.