05 Feb

This week has been all about sharing our knowledge and outstanding initiatives with colleagues from across the North West. I had the pleasure of spending a day earlier this week with a group of delegates from Bury. These visitors were education commissioners, supported employment providers and staff from schools in their town. They were keen to learn about our journey over the past five years and had many questions on how we have made things work for our young people aged 19-25. I felt extremely proud of our staff and young people as we toured our different sites and I enjoyed explaining how we had set up Horizons and Future Finders and why these new ventures are working so well. We were faced with many challenges which we have overcome, and we are now reaping the rewards and continually increasing opportunities for our young people, most recently through our move to Medtia Square.

I think that it is important to step back sometimes and to really take stock of where our young people are and how they have progressed with the support of Future Finders or Horizons. Whether it be independent travel, academic achievements, employment or developed communication, we should celebrate our successes more often! It was very clear that our visitors were impressed and would be taking lots of information back to improve what they can offer within their own provision.

I did promise this week that I would show you some images of our new building but I have to confess that I have had to cheat a little bit. I was in the building earlier today and due to the large team on site and the amount of work taking place, I am not sure the photos would have been clear with all the dust, so instead I would like to take this opportunity to share some pictures that I have previously taken and to talk you through how Medtia Square will look..

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The building is on four floors and has both underground parking and outside parking. The ground floor has a large reception area where our young people and visitors will sign in each day. This area will also have a ‘job shop’ where young people looking for internships, work placements, volunteering opportunities or paid employment can access the Future Finders website with support to see what is currently available. Also on the ground floor is our drama studio which will be the new base for our performing arts pathway, Lumenus, along with a brand new fully adapted bathroom.

The first floor (which is being re-carpeted on Monday) will be the base for our Digit4ll pathway and our Future Finders students. This floor will have a multi-purpose classroom, the Future Finders’ classroom, an ICT suite with 19 PCs, a video editing suite, a green screen room and our specialised printing equipment. Our two enterprises, New Bridge Printers and our new video enterprise, New Bridge Productions, can’t wait to set up here and take advantage of the fantastic facilities.

Our third and fourth floors are the new home of New Bridge Horizons and will include a dining area, a common room and discrete teaching spaces for each group, along with an ICT suite, a quiet room and an adapted bathroom. The top floor will also be the new base for the ‘Admin Hub’ of our busy Horizons Helpers.

The building is fully accessible and has a lift to all floors. It really is going to be an amazing facility for us and, as I mentioned last week, if you want to see it for yourself you can book onto one of our tours on Tuesday 23rd February.

I have included some photos for you of more fantastic activities at Horizons this week..

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Don’t forget that next Tuesday is ‘Safer Internet Day’, you can find out more by clicking here.

Finally, our finished Valentines gifts have been collected…and as yet no one has bought anything for me, although you never know, I still have a week to go!

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I shall be spending tomorrow celebrating my birthday (and possibly Sunday recovering from those celebrations)!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Many thanks,

Daniel Wood
Future Finders Manager

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