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Introducing Our Newest Service, CLaD Hubs

CLaD stands for Continuous Learning and Development, but it also describes covering something for protection, such as a house in tiles or a knight in armour. In this instance, we use the word CLaD to describe covering students in knowledge, and through this knowledge, giving them the confidence they need to go into the world and experience it for themselves.   

Our new CLaD Hubs offer an updated curriculum co-designed by members of our multidisciplinary team and social care professionals. Courses include Numeracy, Literacy and Digital Literacy, Independent Living Skills, Health and Wellbeing, and Physical Exercise at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels, which are delivered in groups no greater than 8 students at a time. CLaD Hubs also offer a range of Hub-specific extracurricular activities and are a great place for students to meet new people and form friendships.         

Currently, we operate four static CLaD Hubs across our service, with plans in motion for a fifth Mobile CLaD Hub in late 2024. The Mobile CLaD Hub will bring a fresh dynamic to how and where we facilitate learning, allowing us to explore new places and maximise each day through combining learning and social opportunities in places of natural beauty such as beaches, forests, parks, and places of special interest. Notably, the Mobile CLaD Hub will also allow us to reach areas of our country where services are sparse or capacity is low.


Abbey Blooms Botanical Gardens, one of our CLaD Hubs, is a public-facing service that provides internship opportunities to people with Intellectual Disabilities and Mental Health conditions. Abbey Blooms is currently offering internship programmes in gardening and maintenance, as well as café and event management. Our facilitators provide support and guidance to each participant through their 12-week internship.

Other CLaD Hubs, such as those in Little Island and Kilcullen, are also facilitator-led and deliver training / curriculum programmes with a focus on Literacy, Numeracy, Digital Literacy, Health & Wellbeing, and Independent Living Skills. Additionally, while Little Island also offers experience in the restoration, maintenance and display of horse-drawn carriages, Kilcullen offers hands-on experience in cultivating plants for sale, maintaining vegetable gardens, and carrying out general maintenance works.


Furthermore, the Midlands CLaD Hub plans, coordinates and hosts national and international excursions and exchanges, alongside delivering training programmes, all of which enrich participants' learning experiences. 


CLaD Hubs are open to individuals from external organisations. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch by emailing or Sharon Byrne, Director of CLaD Hubs: 

Covering students in knowledge, giving them the confidence they need to go into the world and experience it for themselves. Our CLaD Hubs blend education and socialisation, while fostering key life skills and friendships with others.
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