We are delighted and proud to share some of the amazing success stories from our student alumni.
Jessica Rose Update
I’m enjoying my time at college doing hair and makeup. I’ve done body art and makeup and starting my hair part of the course with the greatest show man look. I’ve passed every unit so far and hope to continue to pass them all I’ve worked on the Miskin show for Nanira. I hope to work on different shows in the future.
I miss you all and hope to see you all soon.
Ashley Alexander Update
Hi to all the staff and students at Helen Allison School and Hub. It was really good to see you all at the Family Fun Day in July (17). It was lovely to see my old friends and my staff members and catching up with them.
I have just finished my second year at Hadlow college and gained a certificate in “Introduction to Landbased Learning" and will be starting college in September studying for a Diploma in Land Based Studies Agriculture L1. I am enjoying living in Tunbridge Wells and working towards independent living. I do loads of activities including working at Princess Christian farm.
Wishing everyone at HAS a great summer holiday.
Zack Fernandez Update
"News from Zack's Mother"
Zack is doing grand, he is now working for Crystal Palace football club. He works on match days and they have just offered him some extra hours, so all good. We came down a few weeks ago to Gravesend as he wanted to go to Asda to eat his beloved chips and gravy but sadly Asda had changed their menu and they no longer did chips. Oh yes, and he now drives and has his own car.
William Phillips Update
William has settled down well at his new school. He is happily accessing education and trips out (especially if they include the supermarket where he can buy snacks of choice). He had started horse riding again (something he enjoyed at his primary school) but for the moment is refusing to go...they have been tempting him with trips to the local farm to see and feed the donkeys. He's also growing fast - he last measured at 5'8 1/2. We're due his annual review in a week's time so will hear more of his achievements. We've attached a couple of other photos including getting his end of year certificate in the assembly which he sat through brilliantly.
I thought I would update you on William and enclose some photos from this year.
Can’t believe he is now 16 (5 foot 10) and enjoying his post 16 class. It was really good this September as it is the first time we have not had the new school year wobbles. He has settled in really well to a new classroom with new class teacher and new classmates. He is enjoying post 16 including going back swimming and spending a day at the farm. In the morning cleaning & feeding animals and in the afternoon making things with wood!
He is mostly quite calm and managing to control his anxieties. He likes going out into the community. Enjoying shopping asking to go to Waitrose and Tesco’s when he is home even if it is only for snacks!
Hope all's well with you and school. Pass on our best wishes to all.
William has continued to do really well at Higford. He's out and about in the community most days enjoying shopping, walks, going to the cafe (to order himself a drink and the largest slice of cake!). He also does a day at the farm each week. He's not so keen on the mornings where he was cleaning out animals etc but probably because of his allergies so he's better now just feeding and watering them. He loves the afternoon however, when he gets to use the power tools and makes an item a week in woodwork - stools, plant boxes, Christmas trees etc. He is making 'above expected progress' on curriculum items and is working through ASDAN programmes/qualifications and his communication continues to improve, as does his behavior. He's really enjoying post 16. In the meanwhile we're getting ahead and starting to look at suitable post 19 placements.
William still refers back to his time with you and I've made him two packed 'books' for photos of his time in HA School and Number 11.
Patrick Haswell Update
Following two years of hard work, Patrick has successfully completed all four elements of the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, comprising a journey to Canada with his Explorer group, followed by a photography exhibition at Helen Allison School, a bike ride and an extensive hike. To outline the challenge that is involved with completing this award, the hike comprised of: eight days and seven nights of four practice hikes, walking 71 miles, and then the qualifying four day hike. Patrick continues to volunteer with his local cub group and his fundraising for vulnerable young people has contributed to another achievement: the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge. Patrick’s next challenge is the Queen’s Scout Award!
Pad’s eventually received his invite to the Palace for his DofE gold award. I’ll send a photo once we’ve been there. He received his certificate and badges last week at a scout presentation - he’s very proud of himself. As are we.
Update: May 2018
On 17th May I went to Buckingham Palace to receive my DofE Gold award. HRH the Countess of Wessex came to my group and spoke to us. Yasmin Evans then presented the certificates.
Michael Hill Update
Michael Hill is a former student of the Helen Allison School. "Michael would like to write his update himself but he's been so busy doing his Maths – or just chilling! He is now in his fourth year at Cambridge, and working towards his Masters whilst living in his own room in college. A highlight of his week is Sunday brunch when students eagerly queue to eat a tasty fry up. He comes home in between terms when he volunteers as a coach at our local gymnastics club where he used to attend."
Andrew has settled into his new home by the sea. He has a nice bedroom, which is about to have his favourite characters painted onto the walls. He's made some new friends and he enjoys going to the local shops and cafés.
Joe Gamble Update, January 2018
Hi all - hope this email finds you all well. Apologies for not getting in touch sooner.
Monday's at Art Venture has always been good as they are very chilled and it is a short day and a short journey! Tue -Fri at Post 19 has been more of a challenge -longer day, longer journey and more expected of him.
They have moved him into a group designing and making some of the products for their online shop. At Christmas he designed 'alternative Christmas wrapping paper' -which had spiders and lobsters amongst other creatures - dressed in Santa suits. It sold out! ( I will try to attach a photo of the paper)
Currently they are working with designs for mugs as they have bought a 'mug press'. He is also going swimming weekly, is in the book club,art and graphic design classes and you won't be surprised to hear enjoys the Friday outings to cafes.
Outside of adult placements we have also managed to get him going on occasional day-time outings near home with PA' s. He particularly likes a cinema and restaurant outing. We also set up once fortnightly weekend sessions with a semi-retired teacher who taught at an autism school. We heard about him through a friend and he happens to like designing board games as a hobby and is helping Joe design his own board game using his art work.
Wishing you all a belated Happy New Year and hope that life is treating you kindly. Will keep in touch - let you know if Joe designs any other great products!
Reagan Farmer Update, 2018
Hello from Reagan.
Just thought you would like to see a couple of photos of our holiday in Dubai.
The first two photos are of Reagan in the Rolls Royce we hired for him. He had the car for 2 hours which took him for a tour round Dubai. As you know it is his favourite car and he was delighted with the chance of riding in one.
Also to let you know Reagan loved his first day at college. Let’s hope it lasts. He came bounding out with a big smile on his face.
The communication passport was a big hit with all the staff and they are now thinking of doing the same for other students.
Hope your new term has started well. If you don’t mind I will continue to send updates on Reagan.