New centre to learn life skills

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An inspiring new centre has opened at Hope Valley College which promises to equip young people with learning difficulties in vital life skills to enhance their futures.

The Pathways Centre includes three teaching spaces – a kitchen, workspace and base room – and is already being used by students with specific learning difficulties to gain essential skills.

Debbie Petts, assistant principal and head of the project, said staff and pupils were “delighted” to finally have the new facilities.

“We are now in a position to truly deliver the flexible curriculum that we promised to help support young people in developing essential life skills and improve their employment prospects,” she said.

“We are not only striving to enrich their education but also support them in acquiring the vital life skills they require to become independent adults.”

Debbie added: “Without this facility these students would have to go out of the area to receive this training but they can now receive it in not only a familiar setting and but also their local community.”

The development – which is the result of partnerships with Sheffield Hallam University and learning provider Venture Matrix – was officially opened this week by Ian Thomas, Derbyshire County Council’s Director of Children and Younger Adult Services in a special ceremony that was catered for by students.

Principal Bernie Hunter said: “We can now cater for more young people and help them achieve their ambitions and dreams.”