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.

Learners from Thornbeck College had the opportunity to be part of this years ‘Hope Hack’, an event organised by the National Citizen Service (NCS) and Hope Collective. The event enables learners to engage in devising solutions to society's challenges. 

The event was part of many across the UK that the Hope Collective have brought together to create change for young people. 

The Hope Collective was formed to support the legacy campaign of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor, 20 years on from his murder in London in 2000, and is driven by a shared purpose – to establish real change that enables the UK’s most vulnerable communities to be free from poverty, violence, and discrimination. 

The learners listened to guest speakers including Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Graeme Armstrong, author and former Glaswegian gang member, and Patrick Hutchinson, author and activist. 

Learners actively participated in a range of workshops and topics that included Special Educational needs being a barrier to education and employment. This topic stirred emotion in the group and motivated them to want to stand up and speak.

Connor was so passionate about this topic, he volunteered with some of his peers from other educational establishments to stand up and deliver their presentation back to the whole group of over 100 young people. 

The ideas that were discussed will inform the 'Reimagined' report, which will be delivered to the government in 2024. This has supported the empowerment of learner voices, developed communication skills, community inclusion, confidence, and contributed to change on a regional and national level.