Looking to the future for special needs kids

Northumberland County Council's careers guidance team arranged a dedicated event for young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Wednesday, 29th November 2017, 11:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:57 am
Vicki Graham - NCC Independent Information and Advice Service for young people with SEND; Elizabeth Johnston - Chair of In it Together; Jordan Hood - Student; Rebecca Moor - Student; John Bell - Student; Stephen Miller MBE; Councillor Wayne Daley; Jill Halliwell - Teacher at Collingwood School; Eileen Reid - Careers Adviser and represents the NCC Careers Guidance Team.

The event, held at the Woodhorn Museum, Ashington, was designed to enable people with SENs to begin planning their future pathways

The careers guidance team, along with colleagues in the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS), invited a range of exhibitors from a variety of areas, including education and social care.

The exhibitors were there to discuss options that are available to the students to as they transition into post-16 education and adulthood, as part of the national SEND Preparing for Adulthood pathway. There was also an opportunity to participate in some practical activities.

The SEND (IASS), along with In It Together – a parent/carer forum – held a consultation at the event with the students to seek their views on the four areas of Preparing for Adulthood. These were employment/higher education, independent living, community inclusion and health.

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Also there was Stephen Miller MBE, founder of SMILE Through Sport not for profit organisation, set up to provide support for people with disabilities who are interested in sport.

Stephen was at the event to talk to the attendees about how he followed his dreams and achieved his successes in sport and also offered the attendees the opportunity to ask him questions, helping to guide them to realise their own aspirations and discussing how they can be reached.

Stephen said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to the attendees of this event, discussing their interests and chatting to them about their hopes and dreams for their own futures and giving them advice about how to reach their own goals.

“It is through events such as these, that young people with special educational needs can understand the range of options available for them and help them to realise their own future path.”

Coun Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services said: “This careers event has been set up specifically for young people throughout the county with special educational needs, providing a host of information about opportunities available post 16.

“This is a great event that allows young people to review a range of avenues to take and offers them the opportunity to discuss and ask questions, helping them to make informed decisions based on their interests and skills.”