End of Term Round Up – Thursday 21st July 

 

Dear parent/carer

Well we made it to the end of term for Further Education and Progress students. Of course, the work goes on all summer in our fabulous Day Service and in the residential services.

What a year we have all had. Last September we were looking forward to business as usual as we had passed “Freedom Day” and we felt we could offer all our services normally.

After Christmas we started to get hit with the Omicron variant of Covid and faced some challenging staffing levels.

In the last month or so we have had repeated issues with our water supply with several major leaks and Legionella detected in some of the older buildings. We are confident we are past the Legionella now and we are waiting for test results to confirm that over the next few days.

And then to round the term off we have had the hottest period in Nottinghamshire since records began.

My colleagues have worked so hard through all these challenges to provide continuous, high quality support to our young people. Once again those young people have adapted to all the changes and show great resilience – crucial skills and attitudes to take in to adult life.

And thank you all for supporting our efforts to keep this going and for some lovely feedback on those all too rare occasions when I get to talk to you in person.

The quality of the services we always strive to provide is now widely recognised. We won a number of Awards locally this year and made two national finals including British Chambers of Commerce. I was particularly pleased recently that the National Autistic Society have renewed our Advanced Accreditation status – we believe we are still the only college in the country to hold that level of recognition.

During the year we completed two projects on campus: the Newstart Theatre and Coffee Shop which has created a really state of the art set of facilities. On a more modest scale we converted our Enterprise Centre office units back into residential accommodation with a new fit out for the Short Breaks/Respite service.

It has been a phenomenally busy year and you can read stories on some of the highlights here in our latest Parent & Carer Newsletter. 

You can also buy a permanent memento of our Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with our exclusive group photo for sale: 

You can view the options for printing and framing here on this flyer which you can download, print, complete and send back to us. Or you can complete the online order form should you prefer. All of the profits raised will go directly back to supporting our learners and citizens. 

 

Finally, to bring the term to a close I am really happy to name the winners of our 2022 Staff Awards. Everyone who works and volunteers for us makes an important contribution, but they don’t always get that much recognition. These awards have been nominated and chosen by their colleagues and one learner/citizen nominated award too.

Customer Service Stephanie Beeson (Human Resources)

Inspirational Staff Member Sallyann Lambert (Day Service)

Motivational Manager, Supervisor or Team Leader Teagan Crooks (FE Residential Care)

Keeping Spirits Up Peter Down (Physiotherapy)

Face of Portland Stevie Speakman (Further Education)

Swan Award Stephen Gascoyne (Finance)

Volunteer of the Year Christian Winterbottom

Learner/Citizen Choice Debbie Child (Short Breaks)

Congratulations to all our lovely winners.

 

Well that is it from me for the term. I will only be issuing updates through the rest of the summer if major events happen.

To those of you whose young person is about to leave Portland, I wish them long life and happiness and for their families and loved ones too. There are lots of ways to keep in touch with Portland, (all of the links to our social media pages are at the bottom of this webpage) and the growing range opportunities we provide for disabled people in the region. So, I hope this is not goodbye, but until we see you again.

 

Mark Dale

Principal & Chief Executive Officer