Millie College and wellbeing

September 2022 is a much-anticipated date for Livability’s education sphere – we are launching a new post-16 college for young people with disabilities. As with all our services, students’ wellbeing will influence every aspect of life and education at the new venture – Livability Millie College.

Years in planning, the charity has made this move in response to scarce educational provision for disabled young adults in the Bournemouth area. Millie College will be based at two existing sites, Livability Holton Lee in the Dorset countryside and Livability Victoria Education Centre in Poole.

Millie College will welcome three cohorts of students: 16+, 19+ and 25+ and accredited learning will be designed around four key areas: personal development and wellbeing; community links; functional life skills, and enterprise and the world of work. Millie will be accessible to students with a wide range of needs in regard to social and emotional barriers, Autistic Spectrum Condition, learning difficulties and physical disabilities. The curriculum will embrace appropriate styles of learning, from sensory learners through to those who will work towards GCSE-equivalent qualifications and university entry.

Livability’s CEO Sally Chivers is delighted to see Millie College open its doors this autumn and had this to say:

 

Wellbeing – The ‘golden thread’

Wellbeing is the thread that weaves through all aspects of the students’ day and learning and highly experienced wellbeing practitioner Emma Browning is leading on this. ‘Millie’s provision and wellbeing focus is needed more than ever,’ says Emma. ‘Stats around young people and mental health are shocking. Our aim at Millie is to equip young people with disabilities to live rich and meaningful lives, underpinned by resilient mental health and wellbeing.’

Each student will be supported by a tutor and co-tutor, a learning mentor and educational support assistants. ‘Together with the student, we will set wellbeing goals for each term, which will be measured against recognised models. This will mean the student can regularly celebrate how they’ve grown and address barriers they are experiencing, emotionally, socially and educationally. This in turn feeds into increased self-esteem and sense of worth, which are fundamental to good wellbeing.’

How it all adds up

Emma believes learning the basics of maintaining good wellbeing is something that is invaluable for adult life. ‘All schools and colleges should teach this so people can avoid developing unhealthy patterns and behaviours which damage wellbeing,’ says Emma. ‘Students at Millie will learn techniques including self-reflection, mindfulness and relaxation which will benefit them all their lives.’ In addition, students will be supported to create a wellbeing handbook for themselves, which will remind them of what behaviours make them feel good, when they are struggling, and help them to avoid choices that they have proven for themselves don’t help. ‘This is a really worthwhile tool because, when you might be feeling low or anxious, this advice isn’t coming from a professional, which might feel harder to take on board, but it’s actually coming from you and your own experience,’ Emma finds.

Are you or anyone  you know interested in enrolling as a student at Millie? Contact milliecollege@livability.org.uk to find out more

The Holton Lee site offers unique opportunities for learning, spanning arts and crafts, forest therapy, animal husbandry, horticulture and business, with a shop selling handmade crafts and produce from the site at a nearby retail space at Lytchett Minster. Students will enrol for two, three or four years-plus, with ongoing learning available for 25-years-plus students on our well-established Flourish programme.

From the Victoria campus near Bournemouth, students will be able to take advantage of community links and participation, including events, local groups and access to the workplace. ‘Students will be able to choose from a very wide range of opportunities across the two campuses to find what really suits them and makes them tick,’ says Emma. ‘From previous experience at our Flourish programme at Holton Lee, I know how this feeds into a growing sense of meaning and purpose, accomplishment and self-understanding, which are all super-positive for our wellbeing.’

Adele Audin, Livability’s Executive Director for Education said:

 

Find the Millie College brochure on our website www.livabilitymilliecollege.org.uk

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