Boost for special needs students

(l-r) Katrina Easthope from the charity, Emma Byron from Albert Marsh Funeral Directors, Mathew Ross, a student, Annabelle Pearsall from the charity

An independent specialist college at Holton Lee near Sandford, Dorset, has been given nearly £900 by Albert Marsh Funeral Directors in Wareham.

The branch of Douch Family Funeral Directors raised the money last year and nominated Livability Millie College to receive the cheque.

The college provides post-16 provision for students with a wide range of needs who face social and emotional barriers.

Some students live with Autistic Spectrum Condition and others have learning and physical disabilities.

The curriculum is developed around enterprise and includes horticulture, conservation, animal care, catering and retail.

Annabelle Pearsall, Education Enterprise and Visitor Services Manager, said: “The funds received will support the work we are doing in establishing a thriving enterprise for our students and participants to gain essential life skills and carry out work-related learning.

“We believe in promoting independence and developing the student voice through our activities.

“Students have previously used their forum to decide where funds will be best used on site, to support everyone.”

Emma Byron, from Albert Marsh Funeral Directors, presented a cheque for £867.72.

She said: “Everyone through the Douch group of funeral directors raises money for good causes and great charities.

“We raised this money last year and thought that Millie College was a great recipient because of everything it does.

“It is an astonishing facility in a 350 acre nature reserve close to Poole Harbour and works wonders with the students.

“It is superb that they teach about enterprise and try and raise funds from everything they do.”

The Douch Family Funeral Director branches are situated in Wimborne, Ferndown, Wareham, Poole, Swanage, Blandford and Corfe Mullen.