Major refurbishment under way at Foxden centre in South Shields for young people with special needs after inspectors recommended improvements

Major refurbishment work is underway at a centre used by children with special education needs in South Tyneside after inspectors recommended improvements.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 7:03 pm
Councillor Adam Ellison
Councillor Adam Ellison

Foxden, in the Harton area of South Shields provides short breaks to young people across the borough, with South Tyneside Council chiefs saying the overall aim is to provide young people with a ‘safe and accepting environment where they can try new experiences, celebrate strengths and support development’.

However, although rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in its last inspection, inspectors highlighted that the centre was ‘dated’ and in need of refurbishment.

Work started this week on an extension to house a sensory room and a storage area for equipment.

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The scheme also includes a new kitchen and bathroom and complete re-decoration of the building.

Alison Hogg, whose 14-year-old son Daniel goes to Foxden for overnight stays, said: “The refurbishment will be brilliant. It will be enormously beneficial in the long term for all the children and young people who use it.”

Daniel, who has ASD, learning difficulties and developmental delays, has been going to Foxden for seven years. Before the pandemic, he spent two nights a month at Foxden, giving his mam and dad some time to themselves and a chance to catch up on much-needed sleep.

Alison, 51, of South Shields, added: “Foxden has been a godsend to us over the years, I really don’t know what we would have done without it. We are so grateful to have this service in South Tyneside.

“It is a lifeline for us but it is also great for Daniel as it gives him more experiences and makes him more independent.”

Cllr Adam Ellison, lead member for Children, Young People and Families, said support families and young people in need was one of the council’s key priorities.

He said: “Some of the children who use this facility have complex physical health needs and need a safe and secure environment in order to stay healthy. Other children have complex behavioural issues so it is vital that they have state-of-the-art stimulation to meet their needs.”

He added: “This investment is part of our vision to give all our children and young people the best start in life, the physical environment is a key element in supporting this.”

The refurbishment should be complete by the autumn.

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