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Preparations for Henshaws College’s new vocational technology centre got into full swing with the help of Oscar O’Sullivan-Hughes – the ‘face’ of Henshaws Society for the Blind.
The vocational technology centre will replace the college’s old student residential accommodation, Tarn House, which has been vacant since 2008 following the opening of a new purpose-built facility.
Two-year-old Oscar O’Sullivan-Hughes, one of the youngest Henshaws service users and official face of the charity, started off the demolition of the old building that the new centre will replace. Oscar is completely blind due to a rare genetic condition called Lebers Congenital Amaurosi, and fronts a fundraising campaign to increase awareness of Henshaws’ ongoing work to help people with visual impairments and disabilities.
An innovator in the use of technology in education, the college’s new centre will provide visually-impaired and disabled students with a range of technology-based vocational pathways from media and IT to print and design.
In addition, the development will house a state-of-the-art multi-media suite, featuring a radio station, and film and music recording facilities which have the technology to develop audio information for visually impaired people.
Gill Jennison, acting principal at Henshaws College, said: “We’re thrilled that Oscar kicked off the initial work on our new centre. He is a great champion for Henshaws – it meant so much to both our staff and students that he celebrated this new project with us.
“Technology is at the forefront of our curriculum. The new centre will enable us to continue to offer an effective and creative learning environment for our students as well as service users from our 15 community houses and art makers from our Arts & Crafts Centre.”
Oscar’s mum, Kait Hughes added: “Oscar was delighted to help Henshaws College get the demolition underway in preparation for the new centre, which will help visually impaired people like him. We’re grateful for Henshaws support – the charity has been a lifeline for Oscar in helping him to build up his confidence and skills.”
Building work in Harrogate is expected to be completed by September 2012.
Photo Caption: A smashing start to Henshaws new vocational technology centre – left to right: