A Harrogate college for young people with special educational needs and disabilities is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Students at Henshaws Specialist College have been finding ways to celebrate the milestone, despite Covid restrictions putting planned events on hold.

The College was opened by the Duchess of Kent in 1971 and was originally for visually impaired people – but the college has extended its reach over the years.

The Duchess of Kent opens the College in 1971.

Henshaws now works with young people aged 16 to 25 with a range of sensory impairments, autistic spectrum conditions, physical disabilities, moderate to severe learning difficulties, healthcare needs and profound and multiple learning disabilities.

To mark the event, students have been learning to Makaton sign ‘happy birthday’ and have been making words to sum up their feelings from natural materials found in the College’s forest school.

Principal Adrian Sugden said:

“We would have loved to have had a big party but Covid unfortunately has restricted that.

“It is not going to stop us, however, and over the coming days and months we will be continuing to celebrate our 50th year, which is such a great achievement!”

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