familiar, secure environment where teachers would have come to
know their students well and understand their learning and support
enriched learning environment, providing extensive opportunities
for academic, vocational and personal development
sharing of facilities both with other on-site services and with
for students from surrounding areas, such as Tonbridge & Malling,
Tunbridge Wells and East Sussex to benefit from both the vocational
curriculum offered and from the unique learning environment
post-16 provision would share all of the relevant characteristics
of the pre-16 provision including its distinctly vocational flavour.
Opportunities for study would include:
range of level 3 VCE AS/A Level courses such as Business, Engineering,
ICT, Travel and Tourism
number of level 2 and level 1 Intermediate and Foundation GNVQ
courses in similar areas to the VCE AS/A Level courses·
and other vocational courses at various levels in areas such as
childcare, business administration/secretarial
and/or franchise links with other FE colleges in the region for
extension and broadening of the curriculum initially
of the use of ICT for delivery of the in-house curriculum and
also for delivering courses from outside the College
vocational links with local industries for curricular and work
of European links through Edenbridge's twinning arrangements for
enrichment and work experience
school and homework clubs:
The club would
be developed using the Twiglets model in Swanley and would help
to work towards addressing the community's desire for after school
clubs, as reflected in the Edenbridge Community Appraisal.
It would provide
after school care between 3.30pm and 6.00pm for 5 - 14 year olds
for up to 5 days per week. The club would provide attendees with
a meal as well as helping with their homework. Toys, books and games
would be available. Club members would have supervised access to
the other facilities on site on an agreed basis.
The club would
also cater for special needs children and a quiet area provided
for IT access to assist with homework.
be sought from KCC Social Services and external funders.
Club for 11 - 14 year olds
This club will
be started in March 2002 at the Exclusion Unit in Eden Valley School.
The target group for the club is 11 - 14 year olds who are not represented
at the Youth Club. The young people will have access to painting
materials, computers skills training, cookery lessons (parents will
also be encouraged to attend), life skills training and instruction
in improving self-esteem. It is envisaged that over time, parents
and carers of the young people will become involved with the club.
This scheme is already funded by KCC Social Services.
In the Edenbridge
Appraisal 2001, 39.2% of respondents indicated their support for
after school clubs. Closure of the school will is likely to result
in this essential club closing as well. There is a lack of similar
services in the area, with other schools operating clubs of this
type during lunch times. There is strong concern over the likely
further alienation of young people in the area if facilities of
this type are not provided. The likelihood is that this situation
would have a knock-on effect of increased levels of vandalism and
petty crime as identified earlier.
A vocational education centre, to include apprenticeships:
course and schemes
study into this proposal will be undertaken by Edenbridge
Town Council during April 2002 - June 2002 with SRB funding.
A report will be prepared for publication before the Autumn to enable
detailed plans to be drawn up. Local businesses have already indicated
a high level of support for this proposal.
opportunities are already available to some extent within Edenbridge.
The range of options will be expanded to include greater participation
from the list of businesses supporting this Vision and listed in
Appendix 2 of Annex A of the Eden Valley Parents' Action Group marketing
plan. Edenbridge Town Council will develop this option in conjunction
with the Connexions service due to go live in September 2002.
5. A lifelong
learning centre for adults of all abilities:
It is proposed
that the site would provide a venue for adult education, including
literacy, numeracy, arts and crafts and Information Technology.
Courses would lead to more specific accredited learning, leading
to improved employment opportunities. The need for facilities of
this type was highlighted in the Edenbridge Appraisal 2001, in which
54.5% of respondents said that adult education evening classes were
needed in Edenbridge.
It is envisaged
that this would encourage people from surrounding villages to use
the centre, thus increasing the potential for additional services
to be provided on the site.
would be able to tap into the facilities and services offered at
the centre and would be invited to help shape the subjects and courses
that are provided, in order to increase the skills base of potential
employees in the area. The centre could also be used for training
local employees and for promoting local businesses and recruitment.
venue for adult education, including literacy, numeracy, arts
West Kent College
currently runs a community programme at Eden Valley School and can,
in the future offer Further Education courses, vocational GCSEs
for 14 - 16 year olds, plus Link courses and Adult Education. The
range of community programmes the College offers include basic skills
training, assertiveness skills and returning to work assistance
for adults. The adult courses are funded by the Learning Skills
Council. West Kent College has expressed particular concern for
the 14 - 16 year old students at Eden Valley School and have pledged
their support for the young people. Vocational GCSE courses will
commence at West Kent College in September 2002. The College have
offered their help to students who may need it should the school
days for local businesses (local recruitment and training promotion)
and a larger open area would be a feature of the centre. These would
be used for a variety of purposes by local businesses, including
open days, exhibitions and training, as set out above.
It is proposed
to negotiate moving the library
in Edenbridge to this site to increase the centre's potential to
provide a wide range of education and information. The library would
be of use to school children to help with their studies and would
be of particular help for homework clubs. It would also be a very
important part of any adult learning courses, providing the required
literature and information or help and guidance on how to access
of a library would allow story clubs for children to be opened up
and would provide parents with a venue and material to read with
their children. This in turn will help to identify the need for
literacy classes to be offered to some of these parents - directly
linking-in with the courses offered on the site.
Computers, with internet access, would be situated in the library.
These would be used for both formal educational purposes, as well
as for informal research and general usage.
Negotiations on this possibility would need to be carried forward
by KCC Education & Libraries and would need to include public
consultation. This proposed move would also provide capital investment
in the new facility. If it is not practicable to develop a library
on the site, regular scheduled visits by a fully equipped mobile
library will be necessary. (This would not be the best option but
would contribute to many of the proposed services.)
provision of sessions including painting for all the family, Information
Technology, story reading/writing are a good way of bringing in
all members of the family in a relaxed and informal manner, introducing
the idea that learning can be fun, as well as helping to develop
the 'family' as an interactive whole.
There is a likelihood
that these types of sessions could encourage the involvement of
parents who would otherwise be unlikely to access learning opportunities
and signpost further new activities and opportunities.
A detailed multi-agency
programme would be drawn up to commence from April 2003.
6. A range
of Community Support Services, including 'life skills' and health
outreach for young people
Edenbridge CAB is currently looking at the possibility of outreach
services including the idea of Future Benefit Surgeries for lone
parents, young adults, and families on low incomes, within the local
community. This could be accommodated within the college premises.
and alcohol education
Safety Partnership is looking at providing a programme of drug education
in schools for primary and secondary age children and for those
young people who may not be attending or have left school. This
would be assisted from the Communities Against
Drugs Fund. This programme would be focussed on the Edenbridge
Community College in particular and this work would be linked to
Health Promotion and funding for any proposed projects would also
be sought from the South West Kent Primary Care Trust (PCT).
these are held on an ad hoc basis in Edenbridge in Spitals Cross.
These would be moved to the college to enable a wider range of people
to participate. Area Neighbourhood Watch meetings would also be
held on site and arranged via West Kent Area Neighbourhood Watch
The South West
Kent PCT has expressed a wish to be involved in the provision of
services at a community facility in Edenbridge. This would take
the form of 1-2 hours per month for a health after school drop in
service. It is envisaged that a Health Visitor or PCT team member
would work in school health promotion, in particular the anti-stigma
awareness of mental health issues. This would be carried out during
2-3 sessions during term time. A cash contribution would come via
the Health Promotion Strategy. The provision of a health education
programme to cover sexual health matters and teenage pregnancy issues
will also be investigated. The PCT has also suggested the provision
of Parenting Education for parents with school age children to cover
issues such as behaviour management skills. This would take the
form of 10 x 2 hour weekly sessions twice a year.
This could be
set up locally to bid for funding for a healthy living centre in
partnership with the South West Kent PCT who have confirmed their
longer term plans to extend their role in health promotion in the
Living Centre could be based on the Swanley Shaping Up model which
aims to contribute to improvements in the health and wellbeing of
the participation of residents in exercise and healthy lifestyles
2. decrease the number and rate of teenage pregnancies
The Health Action
Team will provide a co-ordinated and targeted response to the needs
of local residents, which complement mainstream NHS services. The
programme aims to improve community awareness about the help available
locally to achieve healthier lifestyles and to encourage take up
by addressing access issues.
could be drawn on to improve local health and well being in a way
which builds on the lessons learned through the pilot that is currently
underway in the District.
West Kent Housing
Association, which is closing its Edenbridge office is keen to hold
weekly half-day surgeries for tenants and would consider relocating
activities which currently take place in a small room at Templar
Court to the new facilities. Moat Housing Society would also provide
regular fortnightly surgeries on site and wish to use the improved
facilities for tenants meetings.
Volunteer (Transport) Bureau in Edenbridge organises transport for
the elderly and
people with disabilities via Sevenoaks District Council's mini buses
and also provides an extensive network of volunteer drivers.
An urgent need
has been identified to provide conventional volunteer bureau services
to enable local people to access volunteering opportunities in Edenbridge
and the surrounding rural area. These opportunities would have the
double advantage of promoting community cohesion and on an individual
basis providing a range of experiences for volunteers. Outreach
from either Sevenoaks or Swanley Volunteer Bureaux is envisaged
as a possibility in the first instance.
Youth in Action initiatives
VSU are interested
in the possibility of using the facility. Subject to staffing resources,
it is hoped that the children's club in could be re-opened. There
is currently a project with Mencap with 3 volunteer pupils from
Edenbridge. A reading scheme to help primary school children or
an after school club/homework club could link in to the other initiatives
planned and provide valuable volunteering experience for local people.
facilities for local groups
Agency for North Kent has recognised that there is a shortage of
premises in Edenbridge for start up of small business. Provision
of space which has short lease times, parking, possible access for
deliveries, small workshops and offices for between one and four
people are needed. A percentage of the income generated from this
could contribute to the overall facility. There could be joint usage
with the Faith Community,
with office space for shared ecumenical use.
Senior Citizens group Currently use the Astor Centre. This could
be extended to benefit larger numbers and links with Positive Ageing
and the University of the Third Age could be established.
social evenings for people with mental health problems
District Association of Mental Health, which is affiliated to Mind,
have identified the lack of facilities in the town for people with
mental health difficulties. They would welcome access to facilities
provided as a result of the Edenbridge Vision.
Bridges project for people with mental health problems
Bridges Service for Edenbridge is a three year project for families
with a parent experiencing mental health difficulties and is based
on models in Luton, Lewisham and Tower Hamlets. It is proposed that
the project will run for 15 months initially, with the aim of reducing
the likelihood of children experiencing neglect or suffering physical
and/or mental harm and to positively enhance the relationships between
family members. It is also hoped that the knock-on effect of this
work will be a reduction in the number of families that require
additional social housing.
point to the need for such a service in the area as there is evidence
of family breakdown, resulting, in some cases, in children being
taken into care. There is currently no such provision in the area.
is supported by the Family Welfare Association (FWA), a registered
national charity that provides support for children and families
in need. The FWA has a long history of developing innovative and
effective solutions to the problems faced by vulnerable families,
including family support, mental health services, grants for people
in need and educational grants.
the Edenbridge project, which will be run on the existing premises,
has already come from a range of sources:
from the Sainsbury Family Trust
from KCC Social Services (Children and Families)
from Sevenoaks District Council
Closure of the
school will mean that this important service will not have a suitable
of interest have been received for counselling facilities on the
site. Relate currently have offices in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks
and would be interested in establishing a facility in Edenbridge
if demand was sufficient. This would include usage as a 'drop in'
centre. Mentoring and befriending would be relocated to the facility.
services to deal with sexual health matters. They highlight the
fact that there is only one General Practitioners practice in Edenbridge
and have suggested that there is scope to develop a drop-in health
clinic for teenagers. The service could also provide discrete advice
about pregnancy and contraception at times when young people would
be able to access the service. This is of particular relevance to
the area as teenage pregnancy rates are rising.
currently use the Astor Centre for weekly sessions, which are well
attended. The group also organises swimming sessions at the local
leisure centre. Other activities include parties and discos.
welcome the proposed refurbishment as an enhanced provision and
are committed to continued usage.
Astor Youth & Community Centre is in urgent need of refurbishment.
£150,000 private investment is already available through a
Section 106 agreement with Bovis, the developers of a nearby housing
site. This money is available to improve the premises and provide
a rollerblade/skate board area, plus a multi-purpose hard court
area is estimated at around £350,000. KCC Youth and Community
is responsible for delivering a programme of youth activities on
site. Its current commitment includes a full time youth worker,
a part time centre bursar, a part time staffing budget of £9,000
and a contribution towards running costs and curriculum delivery
in the Centre.
In the past
year this work has been supplemented with the provision of specialist
courses supported through the Connexions budget and it is planned
for this to continue.
with the young people in the Edenbridge area has highlighted their
desire to have a skateboard park built on the site. They have raised
awareness through a video and petition to various public agencies.
The young people have indicated their willingness to fund raise
for this facility. There has also been wide support for a hard court
area to be provided, in order to allow sports such as five-a-side
football and basketball to be played. Based on land at the rear
of the Astor Centre, this would represent a very useful facility
for the young people in the area and contribute to the healthy lifestyles
Basketball Association has offered their support to this idea and
there is a possibility of match-funding from Sport England or the
Foundation for Sport and the Arts.
as a local centre for the Kent and Medway Connexions service
new Connexions Service is due to be launched in Kent in September
2002. The Service is intended to compliment the other youth projects
in the area and create a quality support and advice network for
young people aged 13 to 19. At the heart of the development is the
creation of 'one stop shops'. These would help to bring together
the wide-range of services available to young people in a more coherent
of the Astor Centre is essential to ensure that a suitable venue
for such a service is available. By housing a range of services
in one location, integration between the different providers and
the users of the services would be enhanced. If Edenbridge is not
chosen for a One-Stop-Shop, an outreach service will still be required
specialist activities for youth groups
of the Astor Centre would enable the delivery of more specialist
activities including arts provision and ICT. These services are
currently difficult to deliver due to the layout of the existing
the current computer facilities, not only would young people benefit
from improved learning opportunities, but the potential for adult
learning at the Centre would be maximised as set out above.
achievement awards and Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme
with the Careers Services and local colleges, through the Connexions
service for example, would broaden the opportunities available for
young people to access a range of opportunities for personal achievement
and accreditation. There could also be the opportunity to explore
support for young people at risk of disengaging with the Education
to the more formal routes there would also be the opportunity to
undertake other options including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
There could also be enhanced vocational opportunities for young
people from the area through potential links with West Kent College.
The ATC currently
occupy premises on the Eden Valley site and provide the usual range
of opportunities for young people connected with the RAF.
It is intended
that this excellent structured activity should continue on site
as it offers a very real alternative to the more relaxed approach
of the youth service, and appeals to the needs of young people who
relate better to a more formal approach.
The ATC have
expressed concerns that closure of the school will have severe implications
for their cadets in that numbers would be likely to drop.
9. The Local
There is also
scope to further develop existing links between faith groups in
the area. Consultation and discussion between the leaders of the
various churches in the area have resulted in a broad base of support
for the Vision and strong support for the involvement of the Eden
of the work already underway in the area are the Bridges
Project and the Eden Christian Trust. The Eden Christian Trust provides
a youth coordinator to work with young people from all faiths, as
well as those who do not attend church at all. The Trust runs a
very popular group on Friday nights, with some fifty young people
involved, as well as a range of activities throughout the year,
which are also available to all.
Work is ongoing
to develop the links between the church and the Sevenoaks Youth
Development Officer to further strengthen provision in the area
as set out in Sevenoaks District Council's innovative Youth Peoples
The Eden Baptist
Church has been considering the possibility of developing a new
church/community building for the last two years. The church has
worked with the school and the community to explore the benefits
of this potential development, aimed at serving the needs of the
community in a variety of ways.
in addition to traditional services, also runs and hosts a wide
range of activities, including mother and toddler groups, a mentoring
scheme for children in need of extra attention, a lunch club for
the elderly, a youth club and various other groups. These activities
could compliment the proposed development of the centre and could
form a key contribution to the Vision.
The Eden Church
has submitted a proposal for a new building on the school site,
adjacent to the existing ATC buildings, and would offer to accommodate
these activities if this goes ahead. Alternatively, there is a great
willingness to contribute to any new community facility, both in
terms of funding and resources, providing a designated part of the
building could be used for church services. This could be combined
with greater ecumenical input to the facility, which has worked
well elsewhere, for example at Temple Hill, Dartford.
In the Edenbridge
Community Appraisal 2001, 36.6% of respondents saw the local church
as a focal point for the community. There was even higher level
of support for other church functions, such as weddings and funerals,
to be provided locally.