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Licensed Trade Charity - Inspiring hope

On 08/07/13 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

The Licensed Trade Charity supports people who work in both brewing and in pubs. It is the charity supported by the BBPA at our Annual Dinner. It has two aims; providing support and care for those who have worked in the licensed trade facing a difficult time; and running independent schools which aim to give children the best start in life. The charity is based in Ascot where it owns the LVS school and three years ago opened LVS Hassocks, which is a special school for those with autism and asperger’s syndrome. I had the privilege of visiting LVS Hassocks last week and seeing the inspirational help given to children who need special care.

The school at Hassocks was a Church of England priory. It has a chapel, now used as a library and a spiralling oast house which is used for music. It looks after some 75 children from juniors to 18 years olds who are young people with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum and have associated social and communications difficulties.

The child, teacher ratio is high. All children have funding from a ‘statement’ and most are funded through their local authority which has a duty of care to ensure they are given the best education possible.
Whilst the recent educational emphasis has been on integration for those with disabilities, bullying of those less able, particularly if they have social difficulties often leads to a need for a special care. I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I was with the school and the care offered there.

Education here is not restricted to the classroom. The school has a veritable menagerie of animals from rats to a snake (I did not offer to handle either!); there are chickens, and opportunities to grow vegetables and herbs with qualifications to be gained from NVQs to apprenticeships.

Next year the Licensed Trade Charity will open a second specialist school near Oxford. Their aim is to enable those in their care to become successful learners, in charge of their learning: confident individuals in control of their feelings; and responsible citizens in control of their actions. The school offers work experience and are also interested in looking for volunteers for work placements. It is a great charity and one which we should all be keen to support.

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