Government funding runs out for centre

Teacher Trudy Scott helps Aaron Williams (30), of Mosgiel, and Meghan McNeill (23), of Dunedin,...
Teacher Trudy Scott helps Aaron Williams (30), of Mosgiel, and Meghan McNeill (23), of Dunedin, complete a quiz at the Community Learning Centre in Dunedin yesterday, which will close on Thursday after funding cuts. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The Community Learning Centre in Dunedin will shut its doors on Thursday after 20 years of teaching adult students with intellectual disabilities.

The closure comes after government funding was stopped .

Teacher Trudy Scott (65) was sad about the centre closing.

"It's something I have given my life to."

She had worked at the centre since it opened at the former King Edward Technical College in 1993, catering for 10 students. The centre now had 22 students, aged between 20 and 50, who learnt life skills three days a week.

The centre was run by Logan Park High School but failed to fit the adult education criteria set by the Ministry of Education, she said.

As the centre was not on school grounds or teaching NCEA courses, the ministry made the funding cuts, she said.

Consequently, the students would have to stay at home and be cared for full-time by their parents - "by people who deserve a life and some time-out".

Other providers such as Pact, Mosgiel Ability Resource Centre and Sherwood were approached to take on the students, but declined because their
resources were already stretched, she said. The centre gave students a sense of belonging and the chance to build friendships.

When the students went into town for shopping on Thursday, they returned with a feeling of independence and achievement.

The four staff would reopen the centre in early February and work for free in the hope a Lottery Grants Board grant application would be accepted later that month, she said.

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