Independence Training

Hereward is able to offer young people with disabilities and aged between 16 and 25 a residential experience which involves a two week stay at the College. The experience is designed to enable young people to practice and develop their independent living skills in a real life environment, whilst also enjoying the company of other young people (in groups of up to ten).

How does it work

Phase 1: Planning

Local Authorities (LAs) are asked to nominate young people who may benefit from the programme. The College then travels to the LA to meet with interested parents/young people to explain the process and the offer in more detail. This visit usually involves students from the College who will talk to parents and young people about life at Hereward.

Any young people who express an interest will be asked to complete an application form outlining their care and support needs. They are also asked to identify 2 or 3 individual independence targets they would like to achieve during their stay. Once applications are assessed and accepted by the College, the young people and their parents are invited to visit the College for an open day before the two week stay takes place.

Phase 2: Residential programme

The two week stay takes place in Hereward’s residential accommodation – The Lodge. The Lodge is a newly refurbished, fully accessible building with individual bedrooms and communal living spaces. Our highly trained staff work with each young person to create a care plan and focus on their goals to develop the skills they need to support independent living. The young people will be expected to undertake a range of tasks and independent living activities on a daily basis. These include:

  • Planning and budgeting for meals
  • Shopping and cooking for others
  • Keeping all living areas clean and tidy
  • Washing and ironing their own clothes
  • Using public transport
  • Organising trips in the local community
  • Keeping safe in the community
  • Being part of a group which plans activities together

Phase 3: Evaluation

In addition, the young people will also practice skills related to the individual independence targets they set prior to the visit. Staff supporting the young people will help keep a record of achievements and progress during the stay.

At the end of the programme, the young people are presented with a record of the activities they have taken part in and a report on the progress made on their individual independence targets. Parents are also asked to provide feedback via a short questionnaire once the young person has returned home to capture any progress they have witnessed and offer suggestions for future improvements.