A NEW state-of-the-art learning centre for adults with special educational needs is to open this September after help from some far-flung fundraisers.
Uplands School is to open its new facility so 19 to 25-year-olds who graduate from the Tadpole Lane school have somewhere to continue their education within the town.
It received a helping hand in kitting out the newly refurbished site, opposite the Bentley Centre, in Stratton Road, from former teaching assistant Linda Meadows, who lives in Saudi Arabia with her husband Chris.
The pair, on behalf of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, donated £2,900 to the school which staff said will go towards sensory and light equipment for specialised rooms.
Andy Segal, operational headteacher for the Uplands Educational Trust, said: “This really is unique in Swindon and perhaps the country in terms of the support from the local authority.
“It means the students who leave Uplands School that the colleges cannot accommodate, who would otherwise just stay at home or have to go hundreds of miles away to find something similar, can stay in Swindon.
“It will keep the families together and also the students will know some of the staff.
“In total across the school we will be bringing in 12 new staff, so that is great news.”
Andy said he was delighted to receive the money raised by the couple.
He said: “Linda was a teaching assistant here about 10 years ago and she asked if her husband could make us his Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes branch’s charity of the year. They flew in to present us with the money as a surprise.
“We also have had furniture from Swindon Council and Wiltshire Council and are hoping to get some kitchen equipment from a Swindon company.”