With over 100 years of experience, Young Epilepsy is a leading provider of specialist health and education services for children and young people with epilepsy and associated conditions, in the UK.
The new Griffith Therapy and Life Skills Centre, which is part of their Further Education College for 122 young adults aged 19-25, comprises therapy and sensory rooms, classrooms, a business skills suite and learning kitchen to prepare students for independent living and boost employability. In 2014 the Foundation awarded Young Epilepsy with a grant of £30,000 for the creation of the DM Thomas Foundation Business Skills area which was purpose built to fully support the development of students, with a particular focus on the needs of those with autism. Despite only being open for use since September, the building is already proving its worth and will benefit hundreds of students for years to come. Simon Sheehan, Director of the Foundation, joined Chief Executive of Young Epilepsy Carol Long, and young people David, Chloe and Michael, to open the new Centre.
The DM Thomas Foundation Business Skills Area is a mock office where students can learn computer skills, administrative tasks and how to seek employment. It will support students to gain vocational qualifications, practical work experience and personal skills that will help them to secure paid and volunteer placements once they leave college. Students so far have been preparing CVs, learning how to search for jobs and have been undertaking work collated from around the organisation which has allowed them real life learning experiences such as meeting deadlines.
No other facility provides this level of integrated care and education services, meaning Young Epilepsy is uniquely placed to make a real difference to the lives of young people with epilepsy and associated conditions.
Simon Sheehan, Director of DM Thomas Foundation for Young People said: “We are delighted to support Young Epilepsy with a further grant of £16,446.20. The money was raised working with our supporters from the Waldorf Hilton London team at our annual Gala Dinner. It will be used to enable many young people to gain independence through learning valuable life skills. The DM Thomas Foundation Business Skills Area will allow them to gain experience in a mock business setting, facilitating entry into work. The Foundation works hard to help transform the lives of disadvantaged young people, and we are proud to support this fantastic cause.”