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College students help to renovate theatre

Theatre in the Hut

A group of Weston College students has spent two weeks volunteering to help renovate the 100-year-old Theatre in the Hut in Milton.

The students, who are all on the autism spectrum, completed the community project as part of a course called ‘Aspirations’, which is taught at the College’s pioneering residential training facility, Weston Bay.

The students planned the project themselves, and chose to help renovate the former World War One army hut as they felt it would benefit the community while also challenging them with a wide variety of jobs to complete.

The project enabled them to learn new skills such as painting, gardening and carpentry.

Adam, 21, said: “Every year people studying Aspirations work as a team to help out local community by refurbishing places that need attention.

“This year we repaired damaged wood on the hut, before sanding it down and giving it three coats of blue paint.

“We worked on the garden by weeding, planting and clearing up the rubbish.”

Weston College carpentry students constructed two wooden picnic benches that were donated to the project.

Heidi Martini, Residential Specialist Support Instructor at Weston College, said: “The students worked really hard to plan, fundraise, and undertake all the hard work ensure this community project a success.

“They demonstrated a wide range of skills including employability, teamwork, leadership, problem solving and reliability.

“We are incredible proud of their achievements individually and as a team.”

The renovations were unveiled at an opening ceremony attended by the students, college staff, members of the Wayfarers Drama Group and the Mayor and Mayoress of Weston-super-Mare.

Aspirations is a programme of study specifically developed for learners on the autism spectrum who are aged between 16-24 years, and is delivered at the Weston Bay residential training facility.

Many of the students on the course already have academic or vocational qualifications, but have found accessing employment, higher education or independent living very difficult. Aspirations gives them the opportunity to develop their skills and progress into independent living, university and employment.

You can find out more about how Weston College supports independent living by visiting www.weston.ac.uk/independent-living

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