Charity hopes to roll out education programme across Dorset

A PROGRAMME that helps young people with additional educational needs is looking to expand across Dorset.

Charity Autism Unlimited is looking to roll out its Futures programme, which aims to help people grow their confidence, seek employment and become active members of their communities.

Futures, based in Christchurch, supports young people from 18 to 25 who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Now, it is hosting an open event in Dorchester to help people find out more.

From an initial four learners in 2021, Futures now has 28 learners, all of whom are reaching their goals through learning, practical activities, work placements, employability skills and supported independent living experiences.

Money management and making decisions about where they want to live are also part of the Futures curriculum.

Futures now helps 28 learners from its Christchurch base

Futures now helps 28 learners from its Christchurch base

Futures consultant, Graham Whitehead, said: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the programme is life-changing for our learners and their families.

“Many young people have come to us having struggled in traditional education environments.

“At Futures they flourish both personally and professionally, gaining the confidence to travel independently, to form friendships, socialise and discover talents and fulfilling career pathways.”

He added: “Parents and carers have called Futures incredible and say they never dared imagine their young people would achieve so much.

“Our learners David and Simon were offered jobs after their first work experience placements and Susan, who had struggled with her secondary education options regained her confidence and is now working part-time in Bournemouth. These are just a few of many success stories.

READ MORE: Police visitors undergo autism training to better help people in custody

“We now want to take this success out to a wider audience across Dorset, and we hope young people and their families will come and find out more at our Open Event.”

The open event will take place at the Dorset Youth Association, on Lubbecke Way, Dorchester, on Tuesday, January 23, from 10am to 8pm.

People can drop-in, or call 01202 485305 or email to arrange a specific meeting and time.

For more information, visit

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