Career event helps children with special needs look to the future

Vicki Graham, NCC Independent Information and Advice Service for young people with SEND; Elizabeth Johnston, chairman of In it Together; students Jordan Hood, Rebecca Moor and John Bell; Stephen Miller MBE; CounWayne Daley; Jill Halliwell, teacher at Collingwood School; Eileen Reid, SEND careers adviser.
Vicki Graham, NCC Independent Information and Advice Service for young people with SEND; Elizabeth Johnston, chairman of In it Together; students Jordan Hood, Rebecca Moor and John Bell; Stephen Miller MBE; CounWayne Daley; Jill Halliwell, teacher at Collingwood School; Eileen Reid, SEND careers adviser.

Northumberland County Council’s careers guidance team arranged a dedicated event for young people with special educational needs (SEN).

The event, held at the Woodhorn Museum, Ashington, was designed to enable people with SENs to begin planning their future pathways.

The careers guidance team, along with colleagues in the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS), invited a range of exhibitors from a variety of areas, including education and social care.

The exhibitors were there to discuss options that are available to the students as they transition into post-16 education and adulthood, as part of the national SEND Preparing for Adulthood pathway.

There was also an opportunity to participate in some practical activities.

The SEND (IASS), along with In It Together – a parent/carer forum – held a consultation at the event with the students to seek their views on the four areas of Preparing for Adulthood.

These were employment/higher education, independent living, community inclusion and health.

Also there was Stephen Miller MBE, founder of SMILE Through Sport, a not-for-profit organisation set up to provide support for people with disabilities who are interested in sport.

Stephen was at the event to talk to the attendees about how he followed his dreams and achieved his successes in sport and also offered the attendees the opportunity to ask him questions, helping to guide them to realise their own aspirations and discussing how they can be reached.

He said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk to the attendees, discussing their interests and chatting to them about their hopes and dreams for their own futures and giving them advice about how to reach their own goals.

“It is through events such as these, that young people with special educational needs can understand the range of options available for them and help them to realise their own future path.”

Coun Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services, described it as a great event.