Milton Keynes community centre will support students with special educational needs

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After more than four years work, plans to bring the Old School in Old Wolverton back into community use have been given a huge boost with a grant award of £475,000 from Power to Change.

The grant has helped community organisation Future Wolverton purchase the Old School, a Grade 2 listed building which was constructed in 1856 by The Radcliffe Trust.

The project is a partnership between Future Wolverton and Slated Row School, a community special school serving children with learning difficulties and special educational needs.

Once refurbishment work is complete, the community centre will be operated by Future Wolverton with support from Sixth Form students at the school, providing the young people with crucial work experience so that they can secure paid work when they leave full time education.

Power to Change have awarded the grant as part of work to support community businesses in England, as Programmes Manager Rose Seagrief explains: “Impressive community businesses like Future Wolverton can transform a local area.

“We are delighted to support such important work, which has potential to bring benefits across Milton Keynes.”

Marie Osborne, Director from Future Wolverton added: “We are thrilled that Power to Change has trusted us with a grant that will make the Old School Project a reality.

“The project is complex but sure to have a very positive impact in the community, especially for the young people of Slated Row School as they will be able to transition into the work world while the Wolverton community benefits from their talent.

“Power to Change has a key role in making this possible and their support is invaluable to Future Wolverton. We can’t wait to get started.”

Jonathan Budd, headteacher from Slated Row School said: “The Old School project will give our more able students the opportunity to develop the work skills and take the next step into real life and work, whilst giving our more complex students the opportunity to do activities that develop the skills to enable them to live independently.”

A further £200,000 is needed to go ahead with the extensive refurbishment work, and Future Wolverton are offering a two per cent return on any money invested.

Full details of the Community Shares Offer can be found online at ehtex.org.uk or by visiting the Future Wolverton website futurewolverton.org/shares