Queen Alexandra College
Queen Alexandra College (QAC) is a specialist college for people with disabilities such as sensory impairments, learning disabilities (e.g. Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome) and physical disabilities. The college offers students a wide range of education and training opportunities, designed to challenge students and equip them with the skills and experience they need to live and work as independently as possible.
What is Queen Alexandra College?
Students attend academic and vocational programmes, enabling them to gain qualifications whilst improving functional skills, communication and life skills and building confidence.
All students at QAC have at least one disability, varying in extent, with many having more than one to overcome. As such, the college provide a range of pastoral support services including counsellors, mentors, specialist equipment, higher staff to student ratios and smaller classes than in mainstream education. Individualised learning and specifically designed courses, specialist equipment, resources and support enable students with disabilities to thrive, whereas in a mainstream environment they may struggle to engage in lessons and lack the confidence to participate.
A couple of years ago, QAC secured the lease on a local garden centre and horticulture site, Umberslade Nurseries. The site was overgrown and neglected, and it was a challenge for QAC staff and volunteers to bring it back to life. They have, however, been successful, developing a tea room provision, community workshops and gardening clubs, student programmes and a sensory/therapy area which is soon to be completed. The site is now popular with students, local community groups and residents.
Umberslade aims to provide a range of opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to learn about horticulture, nature, the environment and conservation. Whether these are Forest School sessions for local youngsters, gardening projects for those with dementia or projects for their own students to complete, sessions are delivered according to interest and abilities. The last twelve months have seen links and interest in Umberslade grow, both in the local community and with students and their families and this is something that QAC want to continue to develop with new events and projects.
If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?
QAC would like to create a series of outdoor seating and learning spaces for the students at Umberslade. There is already picnic and eating area on site, but these aren’t conducive to outdoor teaching.
They would like to create an outdoor classroom that would be used by QAC students, but also other groups. There are already dementia and over 55s workshops in place and the organisation hope to start working with groups of children at risk of exclusion, helping other groups within the local community too.
QAC feel that providing this outdoor teaching environment will really benefit the students and aid their learning experiences.
Cost of project
Where can people go to find out more about Queen Alexandra College?
Sarah Caldwell, Fundraising and Grants Manager
Tel: 0121 428 5064