Essex Care Consortium - Individual Empowerment

Access Adult Learning Day Centre
Access Adult Learning Centre

Activity day at Access Centre

Cooking with friends

James enjoying with flowers

Contact details

Access Day Centre:

Manager : Jackie Strohm

Assistant Manager : Jeri Anne
Tel: 01206330308
Fax: 01206331811

Access Life Long Learning

We have a student-centred philosophy, which combines a concern for our students’ learning as well as their wellbeing. Our teaching and learning methods, and our staff, student and community interactions are organised with a focus on the individual’s abilities and interests. We believe in empowering our students and staff support monthly group meetings where students discuss their activities for the following month.

We are an inclusive communication environment...signing is integral to every session..we sign about every aspect of the day.We are an Inclusive Communication environment, which means we use speech, Makaton (sign language), gesture, photographs, symbols, drawings and objects of reference to interact with each student.Our staff are trained in Makaton and Tac-Pac We work with staff, students and relatives to make communication as effective as possible.

Every student has an individual timetable within the group and their own ‘Learning Plan’, which focuses on learning rather than their disability. They can change groups for a session, take part in a sports group in the grounds, go to a College course or other external activity, or just take ‘time-out’ with a member of staff.

Students have a ‘communication book’, which is shared between Access and their home, so that important issues can be identified and discussed. Parents and carers are also invited to an Annual Review of the student’s progress. They are provided with an illustrated timetable about the student’s activities and courses attended. Discussions will take place about past activities and students and family can use this time to plan future courses and activities

Our students have varying abilities and requirements ranging from complex needs to those able to work in supported employment. Some have had experience of learning in special needs secondary schools and we support them in maintaining and developing these skills, throughout a substantial transition process until they formally move to Access. Other students want to participate in new activities and we offer a broad range of these in our daycentre activity rooms, our extensive grounds, in town and through accessing the countryside and local communities.

Summary of the Access Daycentre Facilities:

- 4 Mini Busses

- Musical instruments for music sessions

- 10 drums for the Drumming Group

- Separate arts, crafts and activities rooms

- Fully equipped snoozelain

- On site outdoor heated swimming pool, recreation facilities and large lawn areas

- 11 acres of natural grounds, woodland walks and enclosed gardens

- Specially equipped large sensory garden

- Large allotments

- Regular offsite activities for college courses and days out.

- Special events organised on site.

Our inside activities include: arts & crafts, literacy, computer skills, cookery, animal care, personal health care and use of a snoozelain. We have many workshops with external specialists. We have a drumming group, music group and dance group.

We also have activities based around therapeutic horticulture Growing for Life group, our outdoor heated pool, woodland walks and enjoying our new Sensory Garden.

Offsite activities include attending Colchester Institute courses or accessing the local community college (with our support), trampolining, visiting museums, the zoo and the cinema, bowling, accessing local transport and trips to the beach. We keep groups small so that on outings we can fit into one of our smaller mini busses and are more likely to mix well with the community.

Access also organises special events including discos, Halloween and Christmas parties and a Summer Family Fun Day.

We are committed to our students and celebrate their interests and their achievements within ECC, with parents and friends and in the wider community.

Access is open from 9.30 – 4.00pm, five days a week, forty-four weeks a year.

Students can attend Access on a sessional basis or full time, depending on need and funding. Our fees can be paid privately, by Social Services or from the student’s independent budget.

Clients work
"Butterfly" By Anna Mack, Resident of The Vines



Please contact us to discuss details of suitability, attendance, fees and funding packages – we will be pleased to talk with you.