A new skill centre will help dozens of young adults with additional needs live independently and find work in Swindon.

The Uplands Enterprise Trust's team opened the designated facility in Ergo Industrial Estate on Kelvin Road after starting the search for suitable premises in April 2023 and securing a lease for the unit in October.

It has always been the trust’s aim to have a skills centre that supports the young people who attend its day service in gaining confidence to seek voluntary or paid employment and cope with a more independent living arrangement.

Stations focus on specific areas of learning, including a mock bedroom, a bathroom/shower room, and a fully functioning and equipped kitchen and laundry space, as well as areas for woodwork, textiles, catering service practice, mock interviews, online training, and employability skills.

This specialist site will improve more than 70 young adults’ confidence, dexterity, fine motor skills, and engagement, helping them understand boundaries, manage their own personal care, and explore new things.

Head of service, Chloe Morley, said: “We are so pleased to be opening our UET skills centre.

“We are excited to be able to further support the young adults that attend UET with inclusion and community integration, skill development and independence, health and well-being, employment opportunities and empowerment.

“Sometimes we take for granted the skills we hold that others may find difficult.

“We are still seeing those with additional needs being turned away from job opportunities and independent living facilities simply because they may need some extra support.

“All of us pride ourselves on understanding the importance of inclusion and equal opportunities, which is why this skills centre is so important to us.

“We want to equip young adults with the tools they need to feel a part of society in a meaningful way.

"I think people still underestimate the power of providing tailored services. At UET, young adults are at the heart of everything we do, which allows each person to have their own identity, beliefs, values, needs and choices.

“This approach does improve the quality of life for every young adult we support.

“Our mission is to remain an exceptional and unique organisation that builds self-belief and confidence to ensure young adults with additional needs live a rich and meaningful life.

“We do this through creating skills for life, enabling skills for work, and supporting skills forever.

“We also aim to reach and support as many young adults with additional needs as possible.

“The additional space our skills centre gives us will help us to reach this goal significantly.”