Committee’s visit to Hawthorns Centre

The committee visited the Hawthorns centre.  INCT 23-720-CON
The committee visited the Hawthorns centre. INCT 23-720-CON

Members of the Department of Employment and Learning Committee have carried out a fact-finding visit to Hawthorns Adult Centre in Carrick.

The exercise was part of an inquiry into post Special Educational Need (SEN) provision in education, employment and training for those with learning disabilities.

The committee, which included East Antrim MLA David Hilditch, was keen to see at first hand the services that day care centres are providing to people with learning disabilities.

Speaking to the Carrick Times, Mr Hilditch said: “We have been visiting centres like Hawthorns all over the province and the idea is to find out what can be improved - things like access to transport, or carer services.

“There are things that can be learned from other areas and in turn they can learn from Carrick.”

The purpose of the inquiry is to address the concerns raised by the committee and advocates for those individuals with learning disabilities and their families that once they leave full time education, where they have had long-term support, they find themselves with very little help or options for what to do next.

The committee will critically examine post-SEN provision in Northern Ireland including consideration of the current policies, programmes and opportunities available for those with learning disabilities leaving education.

There will be a particular focus on those with moderate and severe learning disabilities.