Young people at the heart of Haringey’s Mayoral year

Haringey’s new Mayor has pledged to champion the rights of young people with special needs as she launches a year of fundraising.

Cllr Gina Adamou is the borough’s new First Citizen and civic figurehead after being sworn in as Mayor of Haringey last week -writes

Her Mayor’s Special Fund will benefit Haringey-based charities Ambitious About Autism and John Dewey Specialist College.

Mayor Adamou said:

“I feel very privileged and humbled to be the new Mayor and I will serve the people of Haringey to the best of my abilities.

“As Mayor, I want to try to make a difference in the education and support of young people with autism, a range of learning disabilities and other complex needs, as well as helping their families. I will encourage local organisations and businesses to work together in partnership.”

Ambitious About Autism is national charity for children and young people with autism. It runs the specialist TreeHouse School in Muswell Hill and Ambitious College, which has a campus in Tottenham.

Ambitious About Autism’s Director of External Affairs, Alison Worsley, said the charity was “hugely honoured” to have the Mayor’s backing, adding:

“When we set upTreeHouseSchool 21 years ago, we did so with the ambition of offering children and young people with autism better opportunities to learn, thrive and achieve. Since then we have grown our education servicesand wider support- helping thousands of young people with autism from the start of school, right through to college.

“Sadly many children with autism still face a battle to access a good education and the right support at school - which can have hugely damaging consequences on everything from young people’s mental health to career prospects. We’re looking forward to working with the Mayor this year to raise awareness of these issues andsecure change.”

John Dewey Specialist College, based in Coburg Road, Wood Green, offers continuing education for young adults from Haringey and surrounding boroughs with severe or profound intellectual disabilities and other complex needs.

Dr Matthew Griffiths, Chair of Governors, said:

“The need for our provision is growing. Currently we have more applications from potential students than we can accommodate, and we hope to be able to expand in the near future to enable more young people to benefit from our unique offer.

“We are delighted to have the Mayor’s support for our work with these very vulnerable and often marginalised young people who need such specialised support and care to enable them to gain skills which others can take for granted.”

  • To mark its 21stanniversary, Ambitious about Autism has launched a new campaign called‘Weneed an education’to draw attention to the thousands of children with autism being denied an education. Find out more at follow the hashtag #weneedaneducation
  • John Dewey Specialist School, originally known as Area 51 Education, was set up by the current principal and a small group of supporters in 2008 for young people for whom there was little of no appropriate educational provision locally.
  • It is founded in the belief that all young people, however severe and complex their disabilities, are entitled to reach their potential in whatever form that may take. Courses enable young people to continue to learn as they make the transition to adult life. The college also supports the families of young people whose care is very demanding by offering full-time day provision to enable them to live at home wherever possible.
  • The College is marking its 10th anniversary by changing its name in honour of America philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer John Dewey, who championed the need to learn by doing. Further information is available

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