Celebrating a ten-year milestone is a great achievement for any organisation. However for Teens+, which started out in 2006 as a four-year pilot project, it’s truly phenomenal.

Teens+ was developed by Jane Ansell when her son Andrew, who is on the Autistic Spectrum and has severe learning difficulties and complex health needs, left school.

Jane said: “It was like stepping out into a black hole. There was nothing out there for these vulnerable young people who desperately needed to continue their education. The only choice was to develop our own education centre to fill this void.”

Fighting against adversity and doubters, they have now opened a purpose-built lifelong learning centre to mark their ten-year anniversary. The facility is named the Isaac and Betty Ansell Education Centre after Andrew’s grandparents, in whose memory the new centre was donated. It is situated in 60 Ravenscroft Street, Gilmerton, in the heart of the local community.

Teens+ is a transitional education project for young people with severe learning difficulties, communication needs, challenging behaviour, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Their belief is that everyone has the right to lifelong learning, regardless of difficulties they may have. The Isaac and Betty Ansell Education Centre is the culmination of the determination of patrons, families, students, and staff to provide a larger, purpose-built space in which to provide their unique service to young people who would otherwise be unable to continue learning after leaving school.

Tom Ritchie, Teens+ Project Manager, said: “We understand each of our students is an individual, and their learning is tailored via Individualised Learning Plans to enable them to achieve their potential in all areas of development, be that communication, social, academic, or emotional.”

The launch takes place Wednesday 13th April, at 60 Ravenscroft, Edinburgh, EH17 8QW.