Queen Alexandra College
Cost of project
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 (e.g. literacy/numeracy), communication and life skills and increasing confidence.
As a specialist college, all students at QAC have at least one disability, varying in extent, with many having more than one to overcome. As such, they provide a range of pastoral support services, including counsellors, mentors, specialist equipment and 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 – of around two acres in size. When the site was took, on it was overgrown and neglected and was a challenge for QAC staff and volunteers to bring it back to life. This they have successfully done, 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 aim 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 and/or projects for our 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?
To create a series of outdoor seating and learning spaces for the Students. There is already picnic and eating areas on site, but these aren’t really conducive to outdoor teaching – QAC would like to create an outdoor classroom that would be used by QAC students when visiting but also by other groups – they already have dementia and over 55s workshops and are hoping to start working with groups of children at risk of exclusion, this way they are helping other groups within the local community too. QAC feel that providing this outdoor teaching environment will be really beneficial for the Students, and help to aid their learning experiences.
Where can people go to find out more about Breaking the Silence?
For more information about Queen Alexandra College, please contact: Sarah Caldwell, Fundraising and Grants Manager.
Tel: 0121 428 5064
Queen Alexandra College is also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/QueenAlexandraCollege/?fref=ts) and Twitter @QAC_Official