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Medlock Leisure Centre to become learning hub
Saturday 8th February 2014 @ 16:00 by Max Wieland


A new £110,000 project has started in Droylsden to create a unique lifestyle centre for adults with learning and physical disabilities.

A new life skills learning hub and a sensory room are being created at Medlock Leisure Centre by Tameside Sports Trust with Tameside Council and Tameside College.

There’s also new equipment being installed in the swimming pool area at the centre to create sensory displays and mood lighting that will be used for swimming sessions for adults with learning disabilities as well as swimming groups for babies and toddlers.

The life skills learning hub will be equipped with a fully interactive classroom that will be used by adults with learning disabilities and teenagers with educational needs during weekdays.

A second classroom will be equipped with household items such as ironing boards, washing machines and cookers where the adults and teenagers can learn independent living skills.

The sensory room which have been proved to have a calming and soothing effect will be used by adults with certain sensory impairments and learning difficulties. It will also be used for some of the centre’s baby and toddler classes.

The life skills learning hub will open this month and is part of a wider programme to make the Medlock Leisure Centre a lifestyle centre for adults with learning and physical disabilities.

Already, around 40 adults take part in a range of exercise, fitness and lifestyle programmes, including dance, art classes, swimming sessions, gym sessions, trampolining and drama classes.

The new classrooms will mean that more adults with learning disabilities will be able to attend the weekday sessions at Medlock leisure Centre.

The sports trust is also working with Tameside College to give their students work experience at the lifestyle centres.

The students will offer new sessions including nail art, cookery and beauty to the learning disabled adults, giving them a wider range of activities in which to take part.

In addition, Medlock Leisure Centre has also been taking part in a unique programme to improve behaviour and learning of students at Tameside schools who are at risk of being excluded from mainstream education.

Since September, ten students from Denton Community College have been attending weekly sessions at Medlock Leisure Centre taking part in team building activities and learning sessions working towards a Sports Coaching Level 1 NVQ.

Two of the participants have proved to be so outstanding that they have now been taken on by the Sports Trust as apprentices working with the daily sessions that are delivered to the adults with learning and physical disabilities.

Medlock Leisure Centre Manager Shaun Higgins said: “We were warned that there would be a 50 per cent drop-out rate for the ten students that we took on but we have had only one drop out and two of the students have shown a real empathy for working with the disabled adults.

“They are a great example of what can be done with young people if they are given the opportunity to shine.”

Mark Tweedie, Chief Executive of Tameside Sports Trust added: “This investment in Medlock Leisure Centre is significant and for which we know there is a demand.

“The aim of the lifestyle centre is to equip disabled adults with the knowledge and skills to leads healthier, more integrated lives.”