Thornbeck College

Thornbeck College is an Independent Specialist College providing personalised programmes to autistic and neurodivergent individuals

Working together to inspire, support, celebrate and equip autistic and neurodivergent people to fulfil their potential in life.

At Thornbeck College we endeavour to support our learners to develop and enhance skills that will prepare them for the next stage in their lives; in line with their personal aspirations.

Thornbeck provides learners with a range of sheltered and community based work experience opportunities to support them to gain valuable skills and experience in real life situations that enhance employment opportunities. 

One learner, who had no prior experience of accessing community based work experience before transitioning to Thornbeck, has recently commenced supported work experience at our local food bank, based at St Clare’s Church in Newton Aycliffe, in order to gain valuable work experience whilst also positively contributing to our local community.

During these work experience sessions the learner has been developing indispensable communication skills and building rapport with unfamiliar staff at our local Tesco store; where he introduces himself in order to collect donations each week.

After transporting the generous donations, the learner has been working alongside supporting staff and the amazing volunteers at St Clare’s Church food bank to undertake tasks fundamental to ensuring the quality and organisation of donations that are essential in providing the additional support relied on by many members of the local community. 

The learner has expressed to supporting staff that he is enjoying his work experience, and that helping others in the local community makes him feel ‘good’.

The volunteers at the food bank have very kindly expressed that the learner is doing really well in his work experience and that his contribution has been really helpful. Thornbeck College staff are all very proud.