Jan and Mousa visit Disability Centre of Excellence
29 April 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation welcomed Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele at the Learning Disability Centre of Excellence at Barnet & Southgate College earlier today, when they dropped in to surprise students and have a tour of the facilities.
The newly opened Centre provides specialist education facilities dedicated to the specific needs of students with complex learning and physical disabilities, delivered in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Jan and Mousa joined in with circuit training exercises in the sports hall and a cooking and nutrition workshop in the Centre’s kitchen before visiting the sensory room which is kitted out with the latest equipment to support student’s needs.
With the aim of making a life-changing difference to 200 young people each year, the facilities help develop vital communication, independent living and work skills to provide students the best chance of becoming economically active in their future life.
Speaking about the visit, Jan said: “It’s been great to meet everyone here today and see how the new Centre is helping people with disabilities to gain life skills. All of the students made us feel really welcome.”
Mousa commented: “The young people seem to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer at the Centre - I would never have thought there would be such a variety, from sports to cooking. The facilities are very impressive and I’m sure they are already making a big difference on the lives of the people using this Centre.”
The pioneering venture has so far seen full and part-time Tottenham Hotspur Foundation staff based at the Learning Disability Centre, through funding from the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association. The Foundation provides a combination of practical and vocational education and sport sessions as well as developing bespoke education, training and enterprise programmes.
As a leading facility for sport and physical activity in North London, students have access to specialist facilities including a hydrotherapy pool, sensory room, physiotherapy facility, rebound room with specialist sports equipment, sports hall, drama room, recreational garden and arts and craft rooms.
The Club is committed to ensuring that all programmes and matches are inclusive and accessible to all fans and members of the local community and has dedicated this Sunday’s game to supporting Level Playing Field - an initiative that promotes the message of access and inclusion for all disabled supporters across the country.
Through the Club’s charitable arm, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, over 13,000 opportunities have been delivered to people with disabilities, with this number continuing to rise on both a local and international level.
Grant Cornwell MBE, CEO of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “As an inclusive organisation, we know only too well how people with learning disabilities can flourish with the right expertise, help and support behind them. For many young people, having access to specialist facilities like this is fundamental to growing as an individual.
“We’re very proud to be working in partnership with Barnet & Southgate College, providing life-changing opportunities for disabled people, supporting them on to innovative education, training and employment pathways alongside the development of inclusive disability sports.”
David Byrne, Principal of Barnet & Southgate College, said: “We are working in partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Premier League Charitable Fund to provide an inspirational centre of excellence programme that will empower students with learning disabilities, enabling them to reach their full potential and to increase their economic wellbeing within a practical and vocational learning environment.
“It’s an exciting partnership for the College and we are proud of the fact that the new centre of excellence is destined to become the key lead facility for sport and physical activity across North London.”
For more information about Level Playing Field please visit www.levelplayingfield.org.uk