Alternative education provider LAMP in Leamington has celebrated the opening of its new kitchen and art studio at its centre in Riverside off Adelaide Road.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western officially opened the facilities on Tuesday.
Young people will learn about nutrition as well as how to cook their own meals at the kitchen.
Its new cooker was donated by Howden’s Joinery.
The new art studio adds much needed capacity to LAMP’s art and photography courses and includes a darkroom with capacity for colour processing as well as black and white photography.
LAMP is an alternative education provider that works with 14-19 year olds from across Warwickshire. Since becoming an approved Edexcel examination centre earlier this year, LAMP has become a major partner of Warwickshire County Council’s Specialist Teaching Service and supports a growing number of young people unsuited to mainstream education.
Initially an arts education centre, LAMP now delivers a growing number of subjects, including maths, English, Japanese, and computer games development.
Timothy Ellis, director of Lamp, said: “We try to offer a broad range of extra-curricular activities such as an after school club for experimental music, circus club, games club and film evenings”.
Another recent addition to the centre is therapy dog Ripley.
The need for a therapy dog was confirmed after research into the benefits of classroom and therapy dogs in other centres in the UK. A classroom dog will often sit with students who have very high anxiety and will calm them considerably.
Children can read to a dog if they’re too anxious to read in front of people, therefore getting the vital practise needed to develop communication skills. Ripley enthusiastically greets the students when they arrive and is on hand for receiving fuss and playing games at break time.
During lessons Ripley will visit classrooms and spend time with the students who need her.
Director Pip Burley said: “We can’t imagine our centre without Ripley, the difference she has made to the learning environment has been remarkable.
“She’s an absolute treasure.”