By Sharon Wilson, NCTJ Journalism student – Darlington College

Health Care students hosted a coffee morning for guests from the Able Day Centre on Wednesday. Students spent the morning getting to know clients, playing games and creating Christmas cards in the welcoming surroundings of The Glasshouse Restaurant.

Health and Social Care programme leader Pam Plumb set up the initiative so students might meet future clients. Work experience placements at the Able Day Centre are extremely popular.

Centre Manager Lynn Tomkinson had nothing but praise for current Darlington College students placed there. “The students we have are absolutely brilliant. They’re perfect.”

Able Day Centre is an activity-based centre where clients each have their own learning plan and a say in the activities they engage in. Tracy, who attends the Centre described how important it is that she is supported as an adult and not a child.

Students studying for Health and Social Care at Level 3 may have a placement there for a full year and have the opportunity to organise activities with clients. Rug-making, artwork and sewing are often requested.

Lynn described how adults with complex needs such as dementia, autism, acquired brain injuries or learning disabilities benefit from student support. “We think the placements are very, very important.”

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