DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER OPENS OCHIL TOWER’S LIFE SKILLS CENTRE

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Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney today (22 August 2019) opened Ochil Tower School’s Life Skills Centre in Auchterarder. This innovative, new centre will provide life skills training and services to support young people with a learning disability, and with other support needs, in the transition from childhood into young adulthood.

Ochil Tower School and the other Camphill communities place great importance on the role which meaningful work can play in helping vulnerable people, including young adults, to live enriched lives. Unfortunately, many young people are unable to access appropriate services, or sufficient levels of support, following the transition from childhood to adulthood. Ochil Tower School’s Life Skills Centre will support young people aged 18 – 21 to gain the skills and experience necessary to help them to fulfil their potential, and to make the most of their lives.

Many of the young people and their families Ochil Tower School works with report that there is often an abruptness in the changes from school to other settings, and in the type and levels of services provided during their transition to adulthood. Ochil Tower School is aiming, through the services to be delivered by the Life Skills Centre, to manage this process in a more considered way, whilst supporting young adults to develop independent living skills for the future. The Life Skills Centre will provide a variety of workshops and life skills programmes which will make the transition into young adulthood much more fulfilling and meaningful for many young people.

Mr Stuart Provan, the CEO of Ochil Tower School, said:

“We are delighted to have Mr John Swinney MSP, the Deputy First Minister for Scotland, formally open our Life Skills Centre. Mr Swinney is also the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, and it is fitting that in this capacity he opens our centre of learning. We are excited that this day has arrived, and we can celebrate the great effort and commitment of so many people that has enabled the Life Skills Centre project to become a reality”.

Dr Neil Henery, the Director of Camphill Scotland, said:

“Camphill Scotland very much welcomes the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney’s support for this exciting new initiative. Ochil Tower’s Life Skills Centre will make a real difference to many young people at a vital stage in their lives”.

Mr Swinney opened the Life Skills Centre, and was given a tour during which he met some of the young people attending the centre, along with staff, trustees and supporters of Ochil Tower School.

After opening the Life Skills Centre, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney said: “All of our young people deserve to learn in the setting that is right for them to ensure they reach their full potential.

“Ochil Tower already provides specialist support but the new Life Skills Centre will help with the transition between school and adulthood, a difficult time for everyone. The skills young people learn there will enable them to be better prepared for the world of work and lead a more independent life and it is a privilege to be part of the official opening. My congratulations to the young people, staff and members of the community involved in helping to create the centre.”

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