Saturday, 24 February 2024
Saturday, 24 February 2024

Edinburgh charity opening doors to opportunities

TEENS+ has announced the grand opening of its new transitional education centre dedicated to providing post-school support for young adults with complex and severe communication needs.

This new Teens+ centre based at Eskmills Musselburgh, with the capacity to support 25 students, will provide tailored support five days a week to students aged 17+ who are typically excluded from accessing further education due to their learning needs, enabling them to develop essential life skills and preparing them for their future.

The expansion marks a significant milestone for Teens+, bringing the organisation’s capacity to 98 students, two years ahead of its initial target of supporting 100 young people with learning disabilities and complex support needs by 2025.

The new centre follows the launch of NEXT STEPS, an extension of the Teens+ service that empowers young people with complex needs to develop skills and explore new experiences to discover what independence can look like for them through a network of opportunities for social inclusion that includes Heart of Midlothian Football Club’s Big Hearts Community Trust and Hibernian Football Club Community Foundation.

Simon Pearce-Madge, Head of Teens+ said:

“We are delighted to open the doors of our fourth Teens+ centre in the Edinburgh area which will provide high-quality transitional education opportunities and therapeutic support to even more young people. It is crucial that young adults with additional needs have access to opportunities that enable them to actively participate in their community. Education and life skills play a key role in young people with complex needs engaging in society, so we’re on a mission to ensure everyone has the right to further education, regardless of need.”

In 12 months, Capella has seen substantial growth, opening two new centres, bringing the charity’s footprint to four centres and adding 85 Living Wage roles, bringing the organisation’s headcount to 162 staff.

Gail Burden, CEO of Capella, the charity that operates Teens+ said:

“Capella’s service Teens+ has been growing rapidly to meet the overwhelming demand for transitional education day service for young adults with additional needs, so we’re incredibly proud to be able to be opening a new centre to empower even more students.

“Amid a national social care recruitment crisis, Capella is achieving our ambition of becoming an employer of choice and earning the reputation as the most employee-focused organisation in our field. During this period of uncertainty for many charities, and with many similar providers struggling to fill roles, Capella’s services Teens+ is regularly overwhelmed by high-quality applicants, allowing us to operate at 100%.”

Recently, Living Wage Scotland announced Capella as a finalist for their Outstanding Leadership Award 2023 recognising Capella’s efforts to go above and beyond for their employees during the ongoing cost of living crisis and during a period of funding difficulties for the charity sector across the UK, particularly, their free staff meals programme.

The nomination comes hot on the heels of Capella being named Employer of the Year at the prestigious Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2023.


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