Investing in children and young people with additional needs

Young child

We are set to invest over £1.3million in fantastic facilities for children and young people with additional needs.

If Cabinet members agree, a new centre will be created to support some of the district’s most vulnerable children and their families.

The Young People’s Activity Team (YPAT) run a ‘short breaks’ service providing weekend clubs, school holiday play schemes and after-school clubs – all offering vital leisure opportunities for 5 to 18-year-olds with a range of needs including profound and complex.

The proposals are to relocate the service to its own dedicated building. This would create much-needed specialist care and support facilities which help children and young people to thrive.

YPAT currently shares a site in Ravensthorpe but would move to new premises. The new premises would be a council owned former nursery just 300 metres away – and set a new standard for high-quality short breaks in Kirklees.

With major investment of around £1.36million, there would be improved facilities to meet the growing level of need. The centre could also have additional uses, such as hosting parental support sessions. It would provide scope for the short breaks offer to be further enhanced in future.

A wide range of partners have been involved in developing the plans, including parents, children and young people. The members of Kirklees Cabinet will make a decision on the proposals on July 26th.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“It’s a council priority to provide the best possible support for Kirklees families affected by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

“These proposals for the Young People’s Activity Team are an exciting step forward. They are part of our wider transformation of SEND services and aim to ensure vulnerable children and young people can enjoy facilities which make a lasting difference in their lives.”

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said:

“Our short breaks service already does excellent work, but this is a chance to move it up to the next level by investing in the future and creating a bespoke setting.

“We are seeking to improve outcomes and help our children and young people to have the best possible start in life. The new base can offer everything we need to give extra support to those who need it the most.”

For more information on the proposals read the Cabinet report.