DHS Leavers2014

Celebrating the successes of Dawn House School Leavers

I CAN CEO, Virginia Beardshaw

There are a few occasions guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye and a lump to my throat; seeing our Dawn House School Leavers off to the next phase of their lives comes high on the list. The proud parents, staff and classmates that filled the Dawn House dining room last Thursday were no different – every one had tears in their eyes as we watched the young people. And what a dining room: transformed for the evening into an elegant night spot in keeping with the ‘Casino Royale’ theme of the evening, demonstrating the fun and creativity of the Care team.

One student had been at Dawn House since he was five. Over 14 years the school has supported him to learn to communicate as a confident adult. His leaving speech was a model of clarity. Faces all round the room beamed with pride as he thanked the teachers, therapists, LSAs and care staff who’d made such a difference to him as he’s grown up.

Most of the Leavers made a particular point of thanking Jimmy, Dawn House’s chef and his dedicated team for the fantastic food they enjoyed at the School.   The team certainly pulled out every stop for our Leavers:  a three course dinner for 70+ people, two roasts, golden Yorkshires, three veg and a spectacular set of puddings with something for everyone. It was so hard to choose between the Pavlova, chocolate cake and profiteroles that most of us didn’t bother and had all three!

Achievements were many and varied, ranging from the young woman who had spoken to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children in the House of Lords, through A Levels and GCSEs, work experience in catering and retail and college placements. Dawn House’s partnerships with Portland and West Notts College  are clearly paying off by giving our young people qualifications and experiences to build on as they take their next step towards a career. A number are going on to  study at Portland, strengthening links with Dawn House further.

All in all a big day for our Dawn House leavers and their families, and for every single one of the Dawn House team that do such a superb job of helping them reach their full potential.