WESC Foundation has a proud history of providing education and care services to children and young people with a visual impairment for more than 175 years in the city of Exeter in Devon. Since the 1960s this has been from our campus on the Topsham Road near Countess Wear.
Our focus and expertise has changed and developed over recent years with a particular emphasis on visual impairment and complex additional needs. We have a specialist knowledge of cortical visual impairment (CVI) and use this to ensure that our learning methods and environments maximise functional vision. All of our young people have additional challenges alongside their visual impairment, including learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning disabilities, other sensory loss, long term health conditions and life limiting illness. This makes us a unique national resource, and young people come to us from across the UK. It also makes what we now do much more challenging and complex to deliver.
In the past five years WESC Foundation has extended its range of services to reflect that many of our young people will need ongoing specialist support to live a fulfilling adult life. We have a specialist adult residential care centre, adult day services and supported living houses. We also have a pioneering social enterprise department, which enables our young people to access opportunities for work experience, work placements and supported internships. We believe WESC Foundation’s unique and highly-specialised range of services are vital to enable young people with multiple challenges to prepare for adult life in the community.
Looking forward to the future
We are an ambitious organisation – we want to use our expertise to support more people in different ways and develop new services. We work in a difficult and very regulated space. Special education and adult social care in the UK face significant financial pressures. Regulatory changes have increased the requirements placed on providers, meaning that it is a constant challenge to deliver services that are both high quality but also offer good value.
This strategic plan sets out the way we intend to approach these challenges, and how over the next five years we will make sure we get the basics right, whilst still reaching towards innovation, improvement and expansion. The document is focussed on what is most important to our young people and their families, and what will deliver the best impact and outcomes for them. We are committed to this plan and we look forward to working with you to make it a reality.
Jane Bell (Chief Executive Officer), Christopher Knee (Chair of the Board of Trustees)