Ambitious Wicksteed Park and Isebrook SEN Cognition & Learning College have agreed a ground-breaking partnership which will promote inclusion for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
It will also enhance the professional development of staff as well as raising awareness of diversity, inclusion and disability confidence.
The exciting new project will provide opportunities for young people from the college, on Eastleigh Road, Kettering, to gain experience of the world of work through work experience and a new supported internship programme.
Park staff will also be offered the chance to learn more about the challenges faced by students and adults with multiple and complex needs.
Wicksteed Park, Kettering, has been entertaining families for nearly 100 years and is currently undergoing a £4.5m rejuvenation project to renovate its historic heart and bring its heritage alive to all visitors.
With its 147 acres of wonderful countryside, rides and attractions it is a unique venue and the perfect place for young people to learn about the world of work.
Tracey Clarke, Wicksteed Park Community Link Manager, said: “Isebrook caters for students from 11-18 years old with a range of complex educational needs and this is a very exciting partnership for us, showing that we are really committed to our community programme.
“A lot of companies talk about community engagement, but this is something that is really happening and we are incredibly proud of this partnership and what we hope to achieve.”
Gareth Ivett, Assistant Headteacher at Isebrook SEN College, commented: “This is a really exciting partnership that will be beneficial for both organisations. As a college we are committed to enhancing the opportunities that we provide for our young learners to become happy and successful adults.
“Many of our students are able to add immense value to businesses however nationally, figures show that only 4.2% of adults with additional needs/disabilities are employed. We need to do our bit to address this employment gap”.
“Wicksteed Park has proven to be the perfect partner for us as they have strong values of social responsibility and a focus on community development. These values have led to an organisational synergy between the two of us and a shared vision of investing in people.”
Key aspects of the partnership include:
- Training and upskilling of teams at the park and the college, raising awareness of diversity and disability.
- Isebrook students being given supported internship opportunities at the park, aided by job coaches from the college to help them learn the interpersonal and job skills necessary.
- These opportunities will include the equivalent of six full-time roles working the park’s Ideas café as part of the college’s employability programme.
- Four intern candidates working at the park from this September onwards, based in areas of the park such as retail, catering and community engagement.
- Two members of staff from the park undertaking training in Systematic Instruction, the structured approach to teaching vocational and independent living skills to people with intellectual disabilities.
- The park supporting Isebrook through training activities, talks and curriculum enrichment.
- The college will assist with park recruitment days, and support the delivery of inclusion and diversity training for the team.