Deaf Academy lifts lid on transition to new Exmouth home

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 12 December 2019

Kate Whitney-Morris, of the Deaf Academy. Picture: Sue McQueenie

Kate Whitney-Morris, of the Deaf Academy. Picture: Sue McQueenie

Archant

A Deaf Academy tutor has spoken about how its new state-of-the-art facility in Exmouth will allow them to provide the ‘best support possible’ for students.

Kate Whitney-Morris is the head of behaviour at the academy and will play a 'crucial' role in helping youngsters adjust to their new surroundings when they move into their new home in April next year.

As part of her role, Mrs Whitney-Morris provides mental health support to students, linking their care and educational support.

She said: "It is a position which is like an education key worker, monitoring attendance, behaviour and friendships, supporting students with their mental health and ensuring they stay engaged and motivated."

Mrs Whitney-Morris has worked at the Deaf Academy for six years and generally with students who require additional support with transition, behaviour or mental health.

It is a position she loves, and is proud of the changes she can make to students' lives.

Prior to working at the Academy, Kate had worked in the NHS, as a nursing assistant, healthcare assistant and in palliative care.

She said: "The new Academy has been designed with the students' needs at its core, rather than our current premises which has been added to over the years.

"At the moment I make myself available as much as possible, but with the new building things will be set up for the students, meaning the building will enable us to offer the best support possible, rather than us have to overcome the barriers that an older building presents.

"We know many students have suffered from isolation, our new building will make a huge difference, with so many aspects of it designed to reduce isolation, encourage interaction and incidental learning."

Last month, the Journal and the Deaf Academy announced the launch of the 'Do One Thing' campaign calling on residents to help, in whatever way they can, the academy reach its fundraising goal of £250,000.

Since then, a number of organisations have come forward to pledge and donate towards the academy.

- Are you doing 'one thing' for the Deaf Academy? Let us know by emailing exmouth.editorial@archant.co.uk


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