Isobel Centre Opening

The Headteacher, Deborah Rix, with Governors and Trustees were delighted to open the new state of the art Isobel Centre for children and families who are visually impaired, deaf and deafblind.

This exciting new addition to the stunning campus in Princes Way, Southfields, cost £2 million and the community of the School and Wandsworth Sensory Support Services have raised £2 million over the last four and a half years. Sponsors, donors, fundraisers, staff, families and friends were present when the Right Honourable Justine Greening, joined by Professor Brian Lamb OBE, SEND Consultant, Lindsey Jane Rousseau, NatSIP and Serena Callister-Radcliffe, a former pupil, officially opened the specialist sensory Family and Assessment Centre at the school.

The Headteacher said,

‘Through the Isobel Centre our vision is that from birth to adulthood, families of deafblind, deaf and visually impaired children and young people will have an experience that will transform their lives and enable them to fulfil their potential  and quality of life.

Our dream has been to create a bespoke permanent centre with the special educational needs of children and families featured at every design stage and with the amazing support of many Trusts and sponsors and donors we have achieved this. It’s fantastic!’

Justine Greening MP said that ‘Linden Lodge has a long history of outstanding work and highly specialist support and early intervention with visually impaired and deaf children and that the Centre was unique, and the first of its kind for children and families with sensory impairment.’

Professor Brian Lamb OBE, author of the Lamb Report in 2009 on parental support and building parent confidence for families with SEN, said ‘ I have been working with Linden Lodge for 4 years and I have seen the school and service commitment to family centred early intervention and support. The Isobel Centre is testimony to their hard work putting children and families first and making a real difference to children’s outcomes now and in the future. Many congratulations to Deborah Rix, the governors and Trustees for pioneering the Centre and realising a vision.’

Parents were hugely complimentary and new referrals to the School and Service have a most wonderful parent base to provide professional support, networking, training, development and the assessment of their children.

Finally, Lindsey Jane Rousseau commented that ‘NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership) were committed to supporting the exceptional work of Linden Lodge and Wandsworth Sensory Support Services and that Deborah Rix will be making a significant contribution to the strategic thinking for the future of NatSIP and further promoting the interest of children and family partnerships.’

The Centre was officially opened when Justine Greening MP, Serena Callister-Radcliffe cut the ribbon and unveiled a commemorative plaque.

It was an outstanding afternoon enjoyed by Trustees, Governors, family and friends, sponsors and donors.

A brilliant achievement, the end of nearly 5 years planning and hard work’ said George Dryja, Chair of Governors.

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