Young people with special needs set to benefit after South Shields centre undergoes major refurbishment

Young people in South Tyneside who have special educational needs are benefiting from enhanced facilities after a major refurbishment of a centre where they can enjoy short breaks.

Foxden, in South Shields, allows young people from across the borough to try new experiences and celebrate their strengths in a safe environment.

Its 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’.

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

Daniel and his mam Alison are pictured in the sensory room with Cllr Adam Ellison.

A state-of-the-art sensory room has now been provided in an extension to the building while a new kitchen and bathroom have also been built. The centre has also been re-decorated throughout.

South Tyneside Council has listed supporting young people in need as one of its priorities.

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Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “Foxden is a fantastic resource for our borough, supporting young people with complex needs and their families.

“This major refurbishment is very welcome investment from South Tyneside Council, it is vital that our young people have a safe and secure environment where their development can be supported and stimulated.

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“We are committed to giving all our children and young people the best start in life and providing the right physical environment for them is key to this.”

Daniel Hogg, 14, who has ASD, learning difficulties and developmental delays, was the first person to stay in the newly refurbished centre.

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His mam, Alison, said: “The new centre is amazing. Foxden has been an absolute godsend to us over the years but now it is so much better. It will bring enormous benefits to all the children and young people who stay here.

“Daniel hadn’t been to Foxden in over a year but he went in quite happily and settled in very well on his first visit since renovation. He enjoyed exploring the new equipment and had great fun in the sensory room.”

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